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Full text of "The dramatic writings of John Heywood, comprising: The pardoner and the friar - The four P.P. - John the husband, Tyb his wife, and Sir John the priest - Play of the weather - Play of love - Dialogue concerning witty and witless - Note-book and word-list"

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presented to 

Gbe Xibrarp 

ot tbe 

University of Toronto 


Bertram 1FL 2>avi0 

from tbe boohs of 

tbe late Xionel 2>avf0, Ik. 

ISatlg SEngHsfj Btamattsta 


Of this edition of the Works of the Early 
English Dramatists, sixty copies are printed, 
of which this is 

[Facsimile of woodcut portraits in The Spider and the 
File (ed. 1556) and in Epigrams upon Proverbs (ed. 
1562) : see Note-Book.] 




'Dramatic Writings of 



The Pardoner and the Friar The Four P.P. 
'John the Husband, Tyb his wife, and Sir John the 
Priest Play of the Weather Play of Love 
Dialogue concerning Witty and Witless Note- Book 
and Word-List 



Privately Printed for Subscribers by the 






















Friar. Deus hie, the Holy Trinity, 
Preserve all that now here be ! 
Dear brethren, if ye will consider 
The cause, why I am come hither, 
Ye would be glad to know my intent : 
For I come not hither for money nor for rent, 
I come not hither for meat nor for meal, 
But I come hither for your soul's heal : 
I come not hither to poll nor to shave, 

/c I come not hither to beg nor to crave, 
I come not hither to gloss nor to flatter, 
I come not hither to babble nor to clatter, 
I come not hither to fable nor to lie, 
But I come hither your souls to edify. 
For we friars are bound the people to teach, 
The gospel of Christ openly to preach, 
As did the apostles by Christ their master sent, 
To turn the people and make them to repent. 
But since the apostles from heaven would not 

Zf We friars now must occupy their room, [come, 
We friars are bound to search men's conscience, 
We may not care for groats nor for pence, 
We friars have professed wilful poverty, 
No penny in our purse have may we; 
Knife nor staff may we none carry, 

(3) B. 2 

4 The Pardoner and the Friar 

Except we should from the gospel vary. 
For worldly adversity may we be in no sorrow, 
We may not care to-day for our meat to 
Barefoot and barelegged must we go also : 

** We may not care for frost nor snow ; 
We may have no manner care, ne think 
Nother for our meat nor for our drink ; 
But let our thoughts fro such things be as free 
As be the birds that in the air flee. 
For why our Lord, cleped sweet Jesus, 
In the gospel speaketh to us thus : 
Through all the world go ye, saith He, 
And to every creature speak ye of me ; 
And show of my doctrine and cunning, 

V c And that they may be glad of your coming. 
If that you enter in any house anywhere, 
Look that ye salute them, and bid my peace be 

there ; 

And if that house be worthy and elect, 
Th'ilk peace there then shall take effect; 
And if that house be cursed or pervert, 
Th'ilk peace then shall to yourself revert. 
And furthermore, if any such there be, 
Which do deny for to receive ye, 
And do despise your doctrine and your lore, 

5* At such a house tarry ye no more ; 

And from your shoes scrape away the dust 
To their reprefe; and I, both true and just, 
Shall vengeance take of their sinful deed. 
Wherefore, my friends, to this text take ye 
Beware how ye despise the poor freres. [heed : 
Which are in this world Christ's ministers; 
But do them with an hearty cheer receive, 
Lest they happen your houses for to leave ; 
And then God will take vengeance in His ire. 

The Pardoner and the Friar 5 

Wherefore I now, that am a poor friar, 

Did inquire where any people were 

Which were disposed the Word of God to hear ; 

And as I came hither, one did me tell 

That in this town right good folk did dwell, 

Which to hear the Word of God would be glad ; 

And as soon as I thereof knowledge had, 

I hither hied me as fast as I might, 

Intended by the grace of God Almighty, 

And by your patience and supportation, 

Here to make a simple collation ; 

Wherefore I require all ye in this presefnce] 

For to abide and give due audience. 

But, first of all, 

Now here I shall 

To God my prayer make, 

To give ye grace 

All in this place 

His doctrine for to take. 

[And then kneeleth down the friar saying his 
prayers, and in the meanwhile entereth the 
pardoner with all his relics, to declare what 
each of them been, and the whole power 
and virtue thereof. [grace, 

Pard. God and Saint Leonard send ye all his 
As many as been assembled in this place ! 
Good devout people that here do assemble, 
I pray God that ye may all well resemble 
The image after which you are wrought, 
And that ye save that Christ in you bought. 
Devout Christian people, ye shall all wit, 
That I am comen hither ye to visit ; 
Wherefore let us pray thus, ere I begin : 
Our Saviour preserve ye all from sin, 
And enable ye to receive this blessed pardon, 
Which is the greatest under the sun : 

6 The Pardoner and the Friar 

Granted by the Pope in his bulls under lead, 
Which pardon ye shall find, when ye are dead ; 
That offereth outlier groats or else pence, 
To these holy relics which, ere I go hence, 
I shall here show in open audience, 
Exhorting ye all to do to them reverence. 
But first ye shall know well that I come from 
Lo, here my bulls, all and some : [Rome; 

Our liege Lord seal here on my patent 

** I bear with me my body to warrant ; 

That no man be so bold, be he priest or clerk, 

Me to disturb of Christ's holy wark ; 

Nor have no disdain nor yet scorn 

Of these holy relics which saints have worn. 

First here I show ye of a holy Jew's hip 

A bone I pray you, take good keep 

To my words and mark them well : 

If any of your beasts' bellies do swell, 

Dip this bone in the water that he doth take 

o his body, and the swelling shall slake; 
And if any worm have your beasts stung, 
Take of this water, and wash his tongue, 
And it will be whole anon ; and furthermore 
Of pox and scabs, and every sore, 
He shall be quite whole that drinketh of the well 
That this bone is dipped in : it is truth that I tell. 
And if any man, that any beast oweth, 
Once in the week, ere that the cock croweth, 
Fasting will drink of this well a draught, 

; Z c As that holy Jew hath us taught, 

His beasts and his stores shall multiply. 
And, masters all, it helpeth well, 
Though a man be foul in jealous rage, 
Let a man with this water make his pottage, 
And never more shall he his wife mistrist, 
Though he in sooth the fault by her wist, 

The Pardoner and the Friar 7 

Or had she been taken with friars two or three. 

And another holy relic may ye see : 

He that his hand will put in this mitten, 

He shall have increase of his grain, 

That he hath sown, be it wheat or oats, 

So that he offer pence or else groats, 

And another holy relic eke here see ye may : 

The blessed arm of sweet Saint Sunday ; 

And whosoever is blessed with this right hand, 

Cannot speed amiss by sea nor by land. 

And if he offereth eke with good devotion. 

He shall not fail to come to high promotion. 

And another holy relic here may ye see : 

great toe of the Holy Trinity ; 
And whosoever once doth it in his mouth take, 
He shall never be diseased with the toothache ; 
Cancer nor pox shall there none breed : 
This that I show ye is matter indeed. 
And here is of our lady a relic full good : [hood, 
Her bongrace which she ware, with her French 
When she went out always for sun-burning : 
Women with child which be in mourning 
By virtue thereof shall be soon eased, 

/ ^ And of their travail full soon also released, 
And if this bongrace they do devoutly kiss, 
And offer thereto, as their devotion is. 
Here is another relic eke, a precious one, 
Of All-Hallows the blessed jaw bone, 
Which relic without any fail 
Against poison chiefly doth prevail ; 
For whomsoever it toucheth without doubt, 
All manner venom from him shall issue out ; 
So that it shall hurt no manner wight. 

/ (> c Lo, of this relic the great power and might. 
Which preserveth from poison every man ! 
Lo, of Saint Michael eke the brain-pan, 

8 The Pardoner and the Friar 

Which for the headache is a preservative 
To every man or beast that beareth life ; 
And further it shall stand him in better stead, 
For his head shall never ache, when that he is 


Nor he shall feel no manner grief nor pain, 
Though with a sword one cleave it then a-twain ; 
But be as one that lay in a dead sleep. [creep, 
Wherefore to these relics now come crouch and 
But look that ye offering to them make, 
Or else can ye no manner profit take. 
But one thing, ye women all, I warrant you : 
If any wight be in this place now, 
That hath done sin so horrible, that she 
Dare not for shame thereof shriven be, 
Or any woman, be she young or old, 
That hath made her husband cuckold : 
Such folk shall have no power nor no grace 
To offer to my relics in this place ; 
And whoso findeth herself out of such blame, 
Come hither to me, on Christ's holy name. 
And because ye 
Shall unto me 
Give credence at the full 
Mine auctority 
Now shall ye see 
Lo, here the Pope's bull ! 

[Now shall the friar begin his sermon, and 
even at the same time the pardoner begin- 
neth also to show and speak of his bulls 
and auctorities come from Rome. 

Friar. " Date et dabitur vobis : " 
Good devout people, this place of Scripture 

Pard. Worshipful masters, ye shall under 

Friar. Is to you that have no literature 

The Pardoner and the Friar 9 

Pard. That Pope Leo the Tenth hath 

granted with his hand 
Friar. Is to say in our English tongue 
Pard. And by his bulls confirmed under 

lead [among 

Friar. As depart your goods the poor folk 
Pard. To all manner people both quick and 

dead [again 

Friar. And God shall then give unto you 
Pard. Ten thousand years and as many 

Lents of pardon [plain 

Friar. This is the gospel, so is written 
Pard. When they are dead, their souls for 

to guardon [largest wise 

Friar. Therefore give your alms in the 
Pard. That will with their penny or alms 

deed [covetise ! 

Friar. Keep not your goods : fye, fye, on 
Pard. Put to their hands to the good 

speed [able 

Friar. That sin with God is most abhomin- 
Pard. Of the holy chapel of sweet Saint 

Leonard [damnable 

Friar. And is eke the sin that is most 
Pard. Which late by fire was destroyed and 

marred [how 

Friar. In Scripture eke but I say, sirs, 
Pard. Ay, by the mass, one cannot hear 
Friar. What a babbling maketh yonder 

fellow ! [frere 

Pard. For the babbling of yonder foolish 
Friar. In Scripture eke is there many a 

place [to tell 

Pard. And also, masters, as I was about 
Friar. Which showeth that many a man so 

far-forth lacketh grace 

I0 The Pardoner and the Friar 

Pard. Pope Julius the Sixth hath granted 

fair and well 

Friar. That when to them God hath abun 
dance sent [pardon to them send 
Pard. And doth twelve thousand years of 
Friar. They would distribute none to the 


Pard. That ought to this holy chapel lend 
Friar. Whereat God having great indigna 

Pard. Pope Boniface the Ninth also 
Friar. Punished these men after a divers 
fashion [divers popes mo 

Pard. Pope Julius, Pope Innocent, with 
Friar. As the gospel full nobly doth 
declare [same 

Pard. Hath granted to the sustaining of the 
Friar. How dives Epulus reigning in 
welfare [every of you by name 

Pard. Five thousand years of pardon to 
Friar. And on his board dishes delicate 
Pard. And clean remission also of their 
sin [g" at e 

Friar. Poor Lazarus came begging at his 
Pard. As often times as you put in 
Friar. Desiring some food his hunger to 
relieve [coffer 

Pard. Any money into the Pardoner's 
Friar. But the rich man nothing would him 


Pard. Or any money up unto it offer 
Friar. Not so much as a few crumbs of 


Pard. Or he that offereth penny or groat 
Friar. Wherefore poor Lazarus of famine 
straight was dead 

The Pardoner and the Friar 11 

Pard. Or he that giveth the Pardoner a 
new coat [carry 

Friar. And angels his soul to heaven did 
Pard. Or take of me other image or letter 
Friar. But now the rich man, of the con 
trary [the better 
Pard. Whereby this poor chapel may fare 
Friar. When he was dead, went to misery 
and pain. [deed 
Pard. And (God wot) it is a full gracious 
Friar. Wherefore evermore he shall re 
main [your mede 
Pard. For which God shall quite you well 
Friar. In brenning fire, which shall never 
cease [your will 
Pard. Now help our poor chapel, if it be 
Friar. But I say, thou Pardoner, I bid thee 
hold thy peace ! [still ! 
Pard. And I say, thou friar, hold thy tongue 
Friar. What, standest thou there all the 

day smattering ! 
Pard. Marry, what standest thou there all 

the day clattering ! 
Friar. Marry, fellow, I come hither to 

preach the Word of God, 
Which of no man may be forbode ; 
But heard with silence and good intent, 
For why it teacheth them evident 
The very way and path that shall them lead 
Even to heaven's gates, as straight as any 
thread. [ence, 

And he that letteth the Word of God of audi- 
Standeth accursed in the great sentence; 
And so art thou for interrupting me. 

Pard. Nay, thou art a cursed knave, and 
that shalt thou see ; 

12 The Pardoner and the Friar 

And all such that to me make interruption, 

The Pope sends them excommunication 

By his bulls here ready to be read, 

By bishops and his cardinals confirmed ; 

And eke if thou disturb me any thing, 

Thou art also a traitor to the king. [seal. 

For here hath he granted me under his broad 

That no man, if he love his heal, 

Should me disturb or let in any wise ; [spise, 

And if thou dost the king's commandment de- 

I shall make thee be set fast by the feet, 

And, where thou saidst that thou art more meet 

Among the people here for to preach, 

Because thou dost them the very way teach, 

How to come to heaven above : 

Therein thou liest, and that shall I prove, 

And by good reason I shall make thee bow, 

And know that I am meeter than art thou. 

For thou, when thou hast taught them once the 

way, [or nay ; 

Thou carest not whether they come there, yea 
But when that thou hast done altogether, 
And taught them the way for to come hither, 
Yet all that thou canst imagine 
Is but to use virtue, and abstain fro sin. 
And if they fall once, then thou canst no more : 
Thou canst not give them a salve for their sore. 
But these my letters be clean purgation, 
Although never so many sins they have done. 
But when thou hast taught them the way and 

all, [a fall 

Yet, ere they come there, they may have many 
In the way, ere that they come thither 
For why the way to heaven is very slidder. 
But I will teach them after another rate, 
For I shall bring them to heaven's gate, 

The Pardoner and the Friar 13 

5*/C And be their guides, and conduct all things, 
And lead them thither by the purse-strings, 
So that they shall not fall, though that they 
would. [bold : 

Friar. Hold thy peace, knave, thou art very 
Thou pratest, in faith, even like a Pardoner. 
Pard. Why despisest thou the Pope''s 


Masters, here I curse him openly, 
And therewith warn all this whole company 
By the Pope's great auctority, 
That ye leave him, and harken unto me ; 
For, till he be assoiled, his words take none 


T2.For out of holy church he is now clean reject. 
Friar. My masters, he doth but jest and 


It forceth not for the words of a knave ; 
But to the Word of God do reverence, 
And hear me forth with due audience. 
Masters, I showed you ere while of alms-deed 
Pard. Masters, this pardon which I showed 
you before [their need 

Friar. And how ye should give poor folk at 
Pard. Is the greatest that ever was, sith 
God was bore [were done 

Friar. And if of your parts that thing once 
Pard. For why without confession or con 
trition [retribution 
Friar. Doubt not but God should give you 
Pard. By this shall ye have clean remis 
sion [clared 
Friar. But now further it ought to be de- 
Pard. And forgiven of the sins seven 
Friar. Who be these poor folk, that should 
have your reward 

14 The Pardoner and the Friar 

Pard. Come to this pardon, if ye will come 

to heaven [speak and name? 

Friar. Who be those poor folk, of whom I 
Pard. Come to this pardon, if ye will be in 


Friar. Certes, we poor friars are the same 
Pard. This is the pardon, which ye cannot 


Friar. We friars daily take pain, I say 
Pard. This is the pardon, which shall men's 

souls win [p ra y 

Friar. We friars daily do both fast and 
Pard. This is the pardon, the ridder of your 

sin [hour 

Friar. We friars travail and labour every 
Pard. This is the pardon that purchaseth 

all grace [our Saviour 

Friar. We friars take pain for the love of 
Pard. This is a pardon for all manner of 


Friar. We friars also go on limitation 
Pard. This is the pardon, of which all mercy 

doth spring [nation 

Friar. For to preach to every Christian 
Pard. This is the pardon, that to heaven 

shall ye bring [keep silence soon ! 

Friar. But I say, thou Pardoner, thou wilt 
Pard. Yea, it is like to be, when I have 

done ! [thou, I say, 

Friar. Marry, therefore the more knave art 
That perturbest the Word of God, I say; 
For neither thyself wilt hear God's doctrine, 
Ne suffer other their ears to incline, 
Wherefore our Saviour, in His holy Scripture, 
Giveth thee thy judgment, thou cursed creature, 
Speaking to thee after this manner : 

The Pardoner and the Friar 15 

" Maledictus qui audit verbum Dei negli- 
genter " [no audience, 

Woe be that man, saith our Lord, that giveth 
Or heareth the Word of God with negligence. 
Pard. Now thou hast spoken all, sir daw, 
I care not for thee an old straw ; 
I had liever thou were hanged up with a rope, 
Than I, that am come from the Pope, 
And thereby God's minister, while thou 

standest and prate, 

Should be fain to knock without the gate. 
Therefore preach hardly thy bellyful, 
But I nevertheless will declare the Pope's bull. 
Friar. Now, my friends, I have afore 
showed ye [clared 

Pard. Now, my masters, as I have afore de- 
Friar. That good it is to give your charity 
Pard. That pardoners from you may not be 
spared [told 

Friar. And further I have at length to you 
Pard. Now hereafter shall follow and en 
sue [should 
Friar. Who be these people that ye receive 
* Pard. That followeth of pardons the great 


Friar. That is to say us friars poor 
Pard. We pardoners for your souls be as 

Friar. That for our living must beg fro door 

to door 

Pard. As is the meat for our bodies 

hungry [proper thing 

Friar. For of our own proper we have no 

Pard. For pardons is the thing that 

bringeth men to heaven [giving 

Friar. But that we get of devout people's 

1 6 The Pardoner and the Friar 

Pard. Pardons delivereth them fro the sins 

seven [and three 

Friar. And in our place be friars three score 
Pard. Pardons for every crime may dis 

Friar. Which only live on men's charity 
Pard. Pardon purchaseth grace for all 


Friar. For we friars wilful charity profess 
Pard. Yea, though he had slain both father 

and mother [nor less 

Friar. We may have no money nother more 
Pard. And this pardon is chief above all 

other [care 

Friar. For worldly treasure we may nought 
Pard. For who to it offereth groat or 

penny bodies bare 

Friar. Our souls must be rich and our 
Pard. Though sins he had done never so 

many [behind 

Friar. And one thing I had almost left 
Pard. And though that he had all his 

kindred slain [mind 

Friar. Which before came not to my 
Pard. This pardon shall rid them from 

everlasting pain [thing 

Friar. And doubtless, it is none other 
Pard. There is no sin so abhominable 
Friar. But when ye will give your alms and 

Pard. Which to remit this pardon is not 


Friar. Look that ye distribute it wisely 
Pard. As well declareth the sentence of this 

letter [cry 

Friar. Not to every man that for it will 

The Pardoner and the Friar 17 

Pard. Ye cannot, therefore, bestow your 

money better [wise 

Friar. For if ye give your alms in that 

Pard. Let us not here stand idle all the 

day [suffice 

Friar. It shall not both to them and us 

Pard. Give us some money, ere that we go 

our way 

Friar. But I say, thou lewd fellow thou, 
Haddest none other time to show thy bulls but 


Canst not tarry and abide till soon, 
/i? And read them then, when preaching is done? 
Pard. I will read them now, what sayest 

thou thereto? 

Hast thou anything therewith to do? 
Thinkest that I will stand and tarry for thy 


Am I bound to do so much for thy pleasure? 
Friar. For my pleasure? nay I would thou 

knowest it well : 

It becometh the knave never a deal 
To prate thus boldly in my presence, 
And let the Word of God of audience. 

Pard. Let the Word of God, quod a? nay 

let a whoreson drivel 
Prate here all day, with a foul evil, 
And all thy sermon goeth on covetise, 
And biddest men beware of avarice; [thing, 
And yet in thy sermon dost thou none other 
But for alms stand all the day begging ! 

Friar. Leave thy railing, I would thee 
advise [be wise 

Pard. Nay, leave thou thy babbling, if thou 
Friar. I would thou knowest it, knave, I 
will not leave a whit 

1 8 The Pardoner and the Friar 

Pard. No more will I, I do thee well to 

Friar. It is not thou shall make me hold my 

peace [thinkest it for thy ease 

Pard. Then speak on hardly, if thou 
Friar. For I will speak, whither thou wilt 

or no [also 

Pard. In faith, I care not, for I will speak 
Friar. Wherefore hardly let us both go to 
Pard. See which shall be better heard of us 

two [ing- pardoners 

Friar. What, should ye give ought to part- 
Pard. What, should ye spend on these flat 
tering liars [bold beggars 
Friar. What, should ye give ought to these 
Pard. As be these babbling monks and 

these friars [living 

Friar. Let them hardly labour for their 
Pard. Which do nought daily but babble 

and lie [giving 

Friar. It much hurteth them good men's 
Pard. And tell you fables dear enough at a 

fly [ful to wark 

Friar. For that maketh them idle and sloth- 
Pard. As doth this babbling friar here 

to-day [cark 

Friar. That for none other thing they will 
Pard. Drive him hence, therefore, in the 

twenty-devil way ! [and cart 

Friar. Hardly they would go both to plough 
Pard. On us pardoners hardly do your 

cost [smart 

Friar. And if of necessity once they felt the 
Pard. For why, your money never can be 

Friar. But we friars be not in like estate 

The Pardoner and the Friar 19 

Pard. For why, there is in our fraternity 
Friar. For our hands with such things we 

may not maculate [there of be 

Pard. For all brethren and sistren that 
Friar. We friars be not in like condition 
Pard. Devoutly song every year 
Friar. We may have no prebends ne ex 
hibition [there 
Pard. As he shall know well that cometh 
Friar. Of all temporal service are we for- 


Pard. At every of the five solemn feasts 
Friar. And only bound to the service of 

God [good rest 

Pard. A mass and dirge to pray for the 
Friar. And therewith to pray for every 

Christian nation [sistren all 

Pard. Of the souls of the brethren and 
Friar. That God witsafe to save them fro 


Pard. Of our fraternity in general 
Friar. But some of you so hard be of 
heart [arrayed and dight 

Pard. With a hearse there standing well 
Friar. Ye cannot weep, though ye full sore 

smart [ nm g" bright 

/ o^ Pard. And torches and tapers about it bren- 

Friar. Wherefore some man must ye hire 

needs [ringing 

Pard. And with the bells eke solemnly 
Friar. Which must intreat God for your 

misdeeds [ing 

Pard. And priests and clerks devoutly sing- 
Friar. Ye can hire no better, in mine 

opinion [year 

Pard. And furthermore, every night in the 

C 2 

20 The Pardoner and the Friar 

Friar. Than us God's servants, men of re 
ligion [there 
Pard. Twelve poor people are received 
Friar. And specially God heareth us poor 

friars [food 

Pard. And there have both harborovv and 
Friar. And is attentive unto our desires 
Pard. That for them is convenient and 

good [heard of our Lord 

Friar. For the more of religion the more 
Pard. And furthermore, if there be any 

other [doth accord 

Friar. And that it so should, good reason 
Pard. That of our fraternity be sister or 

brother [even he 

Friar. Therefore, doubt not, masters, I am 
Pard. Which hereafter happen to fall in 

decay [charity 

Friar. To whom ye should part with your 
Pard. And if ye then chance to come that 

way [alms take 

Friar. We friars be they that should your 
Pard. Nigh unto our foresaid holy place 
Friar. Which for your soul's health do both 

watch and wake [space 

Pard. Ye shall there tarry for a month's 
Friar. We friars pray, God wot, when ye 

do sleep [cost 

Pard. And be there found of the place's 
Friar. We for your sins do both sob and 

Pard. Wherefore now, in the name of the 

Holy Ghost 
Friar. To pray to God for mercy and for 

Pard. I advise you all, that now here be 

The Pardoner and the Friar 21 

Friar. And thus do we daily with all our 

whole place 

Pard. For to be of our fraternity 
Friar. Wherefore distribute of your tem 
poral wealth [penny : 
Pard. Fie on covetise ! stick not for a 
Friar. By which ye may preserve your 
souls' health [many 
Pard. For which ye may have benefits so 
Friar. I say, wilt thou not yet stint thy 

Pull me down the Pardoner with an evil hap ! 

Pard. Master Friar, I hold it best 
To keep your tongue, while ye be in rest 
Friar. I say, one pull the knave off his 
stool ! [fool ! 

Pard. Nay, one pull the friar down like a 
Friar. Leave thy railing and babbling of 


Or, by Jis, I'sh lug thee by the sweet ears ! 
Pard. By God, I would thou durst presume 
to it ! [to do it 

Friar. By God, a little thing might make me 
Pard. And I shrew thy heart, and thou 
spare [thou slouch ; 

Friar. By God, I will not miss thee much, 
And if thou play me such another touch, 
I'sh knock thee on the costard, I would thou it 
knew [Hew." 

Pard. " Marry that I would see, quod blind 
Friar. Well, I will begin, and then let me 


Whether thou darest again interrupt me, 
And what thou would once to it say 

Pard. Begin and prove, whether I will, yea 
or nay 

22 The Pardoner and the Friar 

Friar. And to go forth, whereas I left right 


Pard. Because some percase will think 
amiss of me [way how 

Friar. Our Lord in the gospel showeth the 
Pard. Ye shall now hear the Pope's autho 
rity, [no lenger 
Friar. By Gog's soul, knave, I suffer thee 
Pard. I say some good body lend me his 


And I shall him teach by God Almighty, 
How he shall another time learn for to fight ! 
I shall make that bald crown of his to look red ; 
I shall leave him but one ear on his head ! 
Friar. But I shall leave thee never an ear, 

ere I go : 

Pard. Yea, whoreson friar, wilt thou soe 

[Then they fight. 

Friar. Loose thy hands away from mine 

ears [my hairs : 

Pard. Then take thou thy hands away from 

Nay, abide, thou whoreson, I am not down yet ; 

I trust first to lay thee at my feet. [bite ? 

Friar. Yea, whoreson, wilt thou scrat and 

Pard. Yea, marry, will I, as long as thou 

dost smite [Enter the Curate. 

Parson (or Curate). Hold your hands, a 

vengeance on ye both two, 
That ever ye came hither to make this a-do ! 
To pollute my church, a mischief on you light ! 
I swear to you, by God Almight, 
Ye shall both repent, every vein of your heart, 
As sore as ye did ever thing, ere ye depart. 
Friar. Master Parson, I marvel ye will give 
this false knave in this audience [licence 
To publish his ragman-rolls with lies. 

The Pardoner and the Friar 23 

I desired him, i-wis, more than once or twice 
To hold his peace, till that I had done; 
But he would hear no more than the man in the 
moon [thou me? 

Pard. Why should I suffer thee more than 
Master Parson gave me licence before thee ; 
And I would thou knowest it, I have relics here 
Other manner stuff than thou dost bear. 
I will edify more with the sight of it, 
Than will all the prating of holy writ ; 
For that except that the preacher himself live 
His predication will help never a dell, [well, 
And I know well that thy living is nought : 
Thou art an apostate, if it were well sought. 
An homicide thou art, I know well enough, 
For myself knew where that thou slough 
A wench with thy dagger in a couch : 
And yet, as thou say'st in thy sermon, that no 
man shall touch. [church ! 

Parson. No more of this wrangling in my 
I shrew your hearts both for this lurch : 
Is there any blood shed here between these 
Thanked be God they had no staves [knaves ? 
Nor edge-tools ; for then it had been wrong. 
Well, ye shall sing another song ! 
Neighbour Prat, come hither, I you pray 

Prat. Why, what is this nice fray? 

Parson. I cannot tell you; one knave dis 
dains another; [the other. 
Wherefore take ye the one, and I shall take 
We shall bestow them there as is most con 
venient ; 

5*? For such a couple, I trow, they shall repent 
That ever they met in this church here. 
Neighbour, ye be constable; stand ye near, 
Take ye that lay knave, and let me alone 

24 The Pardoner and the Friar 

With this gentleman; by God and by Saint 


I shall borrow upon priesthood somewhat; 
For I may say to thee, neighbour Prat, 
It is a good deed to punish such, to the en- 

Of such other, how that they shall mell 
In like fashion, as these caitiffs do. [do so, 

Prat. In good faith, Master Parson, if ye 
Ye do but well to teach them to beware. 

Pard. Master Prat, I pray ye me to spare ; 
For I am sorry for that that is done ; 
Wherefore I pray ye forgive me soon, 
For that I have offended within your liberty ; 
And by my troth, sir, ye may trust me 
I will never come hither more, 
While I live, and God before. 

Prat. Nay, I am once charged with thee, 
C,f0 Wherefore, by Saint John, thou shalt not 

escape me, 
Till thou hast scoured a pair of stocks. 

Parson. Tut, he weeneth all is but mocks ! 
Lay hand on him ; and come ye on, sir friar, 
Ye shall of me hardly have your hire ; 
Ye had none such this seven year, 
I swear by God and by our lady dear. 

Pard. Nay, Master Parson, for God's 
Intreat not me after that fashion ; [passion, 
For, if ye do, it will not be for your honesty. 

Parson. Honesty or not, but thou shall see, 
What I shall do by and by : 
Make no struggling, come forth soberly : 
For it shall not avail thee, I say. [straightway. 

Friar. Marry, that shall we try even 
I defy thee, churl priest, and there be no more 
than thou. 

The Pardoner and the Friar 25 

I will not go with thee, I make God a vow. 
We shall see first which is the stronger : 
God hath sent me bones ; I do thee not fear. 

Parson. Yea, by thy faith, wilt thou be 


Neighbour Prat, bring forth that knave, 
And thou, sir friar, if thou wilt algates rave. 

Friar. Nay, churl, I thee defy ! 
I shall trouble thee first ; 
Thou shalt go to prison by and by ; 
Let me see, now do thy worst ! 

[Prat with the Pardoner and the Parson with 
the Friar. [bour Prat, 

Parson. Help, help, neighbour Prat, neigh- 
In the worship of God, help me somewhat ! 

Prat. Nay, deal as thou canst with that elf, 
For why I have enough to do myself. 
Alas ! for pain I am almost dead ; 
The red blood so runneth down about my head. 
Nay, and thou canst, I pray thee help me. 

Parson. Nay, by the mass, fellow, it will 
not be ; [spin ; 

I have more tow on my distaff than I can well 
The cursed Friar doth the upper hand win. 

Friar. Will ye leave then, and let us in 
peace depart? [with all our heart. 

Parson and Prat. Yea, by our lady, even 

Friar and Pard. Then adieu to the devil, 
till we come again. 

Parson and Prat. And a mischief go with 
you both twain ! 

Imprinted by Wyllyam Rastell the v. day of Apryll 
the yere of our lorde M.CCCCC.XXXIII. Cum priuilcgis. 




{.Facsimile of the Title-page of the copy of the edition of 1545 
new in the British Museum : see Note Book.] 



[Fac5tmt7c o/ Title-page of cd. of 1569 : see Note-Book.] 


Palmer. Now God be here; who keepeth 
Now by my faith I cry you mercy ; [this place? 
Of reason I must sue for grace, 
My rudeness showeth me so homely. 
Whereof your pardon axed and won, 
I sue you, as courtesy both me bind, 
To tell this, which shall be begun, 
In order as may come best in mind. 
I am a Palmer, as ye see, 
Which of my life much part have spent 
In many a fair and far country. 
As Pilgrims do of good intent. 
At Jerusalem have I been 
Before Christ's blessed sepulchre : 
The mount of Calvary have I seen, 
A holy place, you may be sure. 
To Jehosaphat and Olivet 
On foot, God wot, I went right bare : 
Many a salt tear did I sweat, 
Before thy carcase could come there. 
Yet have I been at Rome also, 
And gone the stations all a-row : 
St Peter's shrine and many mo, 
Than, if I told all, ye do know. 
Except that there be any such, 


3 o The Four P.P. 

That hath been there, and diligently 

Hath taken heed, and marked much, 

Then can they speak as much as I. 

Then at the Rhodes also I was ; 

And round about to Amias. 

At St Uncumber and St Trunnion ; 

At St Botoph and St Anne of Buxton. [ark ; 

On the hills of Armenia, where I saw Noe's 

With holy Job, and St George in Southwark; 

At Waltham and at Walsingham ; 

And at the good rood of Dagenham ; 

At Saint Cornelys ; at Saint James in Gales ; 

And at Saint Wenefrid's well in Wales; 

At our Lady of Boston; at Saint Edmund's 

burgh ; 

And straight to Saint Patrick's Purgatory; 
At Redburne, and at the blood of Hales, 
Where pilgrims' pains right much avails; 
At Saint David's, and at Saint Denis; 
At Saint Matthew, and Saint Mark in Venice; 
At Master John Shorn at Canterbury ; 
The great God of Catwade, at King Henry 
At Saint Saviour's; at our lady of Southwell; 
At Crome, at Willesden, and at Muswell ; 
At Saint Richard, and at Saint Rock ; 
And at Our Lady that standeth in the oak. 
To these, with other many one, 
Devoutly have I prayed and gone, 
Praying to them to pray for me 
Unto the blessed Trinity, 
By whose prayers and my daily pain 
I trust the sooner to obtain 
For my salvation, grace, and mercy. 
For be ye sure I think surely, 
Who seeketh saints for Christ's sake, 
And namely such as pain do take 

The Four P.P. 31 

On foot, to punish their frail body, 

Shall thereby merit more highly 

Than by anything done by man. [can, 

Pard. And when ye have gone as far as ye 
For all your labour and ghostly intent, 
Ye will come home as wise as ye went. 

Palmer. Why, sir, despised ye pilgrimage? 

Pard. Nay, fore God, sir, then did I rage ; 
I think ye right well occupied, 
To seek these saints on every side. 
Also your pain I not dispraise it ; 
But yet I discommend your wit : 
And ere we go, even so shall ye, 
If you in this will answer me. 
I pray you show what the cause is, 
Ye went all these pilgrimages ? 

Palmer. Forsooth, this life I did begin 
To rid the bondage of my sin : 
For which these saints rehearsed ere this 
I have both sought and seen, i-wis ; 
Beseeching them to bear record 
Of all my pain unto the Lord, 
That giveth all remission, 
Upon each man's contrition; 
And by their good mediation, 
Upon mine humble submission, 
I trust to have in very deed 
For my soul health the better speed. 

Pard. Now is your own confession likely 
To make yourself a fool quickly. 
For I perceive ye would obtain 
No other thing for all your pain, 
But only grace your soul to save : 
Now mark in this what wit ye have ! 
To seek so far, and help so nigh ; 
Even here at home is remedy ; 

32 The Four P.P. 

For at your door myself doth dwell, 
Who could have saved your soul as well ; 
As all your wide wandering shall do, 
Though ye went thrice to Jericho. 
Now since ye might have sped at home, 
What have ye won by running at Rome? 

Palmer. If this be true that ye have moved, 
Then is my wit indeed reproved. 
But let us hear first what ye are? 

Pard. Truly I am a pardoner. [true ; 

Palmer. Truly a pardoner ! that may be 
But a true pardoner doth not ensue. 
Right seldom is it seen, or never, 
That truth and pardoners dwell together, 
For be your pardons never so great, 
Yet them to enlarge ye will not let 
With such lies that ofttimes, Christ wot, 
Ye seem to have that ye have not. 
Wherefore I went myself to the self thing 
In every place and without saying : 
Had as much pardon there assuredly, 
As ye can promise me here doubtfully. 
Howbeit, I think ye do but scoff : 
But if ye had all the pardon ye speak of, 
And no whit of pardon granted 
Jn any place where I have haunted : 
Yet of my labour I nothing repent ; 
God hath respect how each time is spent ; 
And as in his knowledge all is regarded, 
So by his goodness all is rewarded. 

Pard. By the first part of this last tale, 
It seemeth ye came of late from the ale. 
For reason on your side so far doth fail, 
That ye leave reasoning, and begin to rail. 
Wherein you forget your own part clearly, 
For you be as untrue as I : 

The Four P.P. 33 


,i .jy 

And in one point ye are beyond me, 
For you may lie by authority, 
And all that have wandered so far, 
That no man can be their controller. 
~" And where you esteem your labour so much, 
I say yet again my pardons are such, 
That if there were a thousand souls on a heap, 
I would bring them to heaven as good cheap. 
As ye have brought yourself on pilgrimage, 
In the least quarter of your voyage, 
Which is far a side heaven, by God : 
There your labour and pardon is odd. 
With small cost and without any pain, 
These pardons bring them to heaven plain ; 
Give me but a penny or two pence, 
And as soon as the soul departeth hence, 
In half-an-hour, or threequarters at the most, 
The soul is in heaven with the Holy Ghost. 

'Poth. Send ye any souls to heaven by 

Pard. If we do, sir, what is the matter? 

'Poth. By God, I have a dry soul should 

thither ; 

I pray you let our souls go to heaven together, 
So busy you twain be in soul's health ; 
May not a 'pothecary come in by stealth? 
Yes, that I will, by St Anthony, 
And, by the leave of this company, 
Prove ye false knaves both, ere we go, 
In part of your saying, as this, lo ! 
Thou by thy travail thinkest heaven to get : 
And thou by pardons and relics countest no let, 
To send thine own soul to heaven sure ; 
And all other whom thou list to procure. 
If I took an action, then were they blank ; 
'For like thieves the knaves rob away my thank. 


34 The Four P.P. 

All souls in heaven having- relief, 

Shall they thank your crafts? nay, thank mine 

No soul, ye know, entereth heaven-gate, [chief. 

Till from the body he be separate : 

And whom have ye known die honestly, 

Without help of the 'pothecary? 

Nay, all that cometh to our handling, 

Except ye happen to come to hanging ; 

That way perchance ye shall not mister 

To go to heaven without a glister. 

But be ye sure I would be woe, 

If ye should chance to beguile me so. 

As good to lie with me a-night, 

As hang abroad in the moonlight. 

There is no choice to flee my hand, 

But, as I said, into the band. 

Since of our souls the multitude 

I send to heaven, when all is viewed, 

Who should but I then altogether 

Have thank of all their coming thither? 

Pard. If ye killed a thousand in an hour's 

When come they to heaven dying out of grace ? 

'Poth. If a thousand pardons about your 

necks were tied, 
When come they to heaven, if they never died? 

Palmer. Long life after good works indeed 
Doth hinder man's receipt of mead ; 
And death before one duty done, 
May make us think we die too soon. 
Yet better tarry a thing than have it ; 
Than go too soon, and vainly crave it. [tion, 

Pard. The longer ye dwell in communica- 
The less shall ye like this imagination. 
For ye may perceive, even at the first chop, 
Your tale is trapped in such a stop. 

The Four P.P. 35 

That at the least ye seem worse than we. 

'Poth. By the mass, I hold us nought all 
three. [Enter Pedlar. 

Pedlar. By our lady, than have I gone 
And yet to be here I thought it long. [wrong ; 

'Poth. Ye have gone wrong no whit, 
I praise your fortune and your wit, 
That can direct you so discreetly 
To plant you in this company. 
Thou a Palmer, and thou a Pardoner, 
I a 'Pothecary. 

Pedlar. And I a Pedlar. 

'Poth. Now, on my faith, well watched ; 
Where the devil were we four hatched? 

Pedlar. That maketh no matter, since we be 


I could be merry if that I had catched 
Some money for part of the ware in my pack. 

'Poth. What the devil hast thou there at 
thy back ? [every pedlar 

Pedlar. What ! dost thou not know that 
In all kind of trifles must be a meddler? 
Specially in women's triflings; 
Those use we chiefly above all things, 
Which things to see, if ye be disposed, 
Behold what ware here is disclosed ! 
This gear showeth itself in such beauty, 
That each man thinketh it saith, Come, buy me I 
Look where yourself can like to be chooser, 
Yourself shall make price, though I be loser. 
Is here nothing for my father Palmer? 
Have ye not a wanton in a corner, 
For all your walking to holy places ? 
By Christ, I have heard of as strange cases. 
Who liveth in love, and love would win, 
Even at this pack he must begin. 

D 2 

36 The Four P.P. 

Wherein is right many a proper token, 
Of which by name part shall be spoken : 
Gloves, pins, combs, glasses unspotted, 
Pomades, hooks, and laces knotted; 
Brooches, rings, and all manner of beads ; 
Laces, round and flat, for women's heads ; 
Needles, thread, thimble, shears, and all such 


Where lovers be, no such things lacks : 
Sipers, swathbands, ribbons, and sleeve laces, 
Girdles, knives, purses, and pincases. 

'Poth. Do women buy their pincases of you ? 

Pedlar. Yea, that they do, I make God a 

'Poth. So mot I thrive then for my part. 
I beshrew thy knave's naked heart, 
For making my wife's pincase so wide, 
The pins fall out, they cannot abide : 
Great pins she must have, one or other; 
If she lose one, she will find another. 
Wherein I find cause to complain : 
New pins to her pleasure and to my pain ! 

Pard. Sir, ye seem well-seen in women's 
I pray you tell me what causeth this : [causes ! 
That women, after their arising, 
Be so long in their apparelling? 

Pedlar. Forsooth, women have many lets, 
And they be masked in many nets : 
As frontlets, fillets, partlets, and bracelets; 
And then their bonnets and their poignets : 
By these lets and nets the let is such, 
That speed is small when haste is much. 

'Poth. Another cause why they come not 


Which maketh them daily to draw backward ; 
And yet is a thing they cannot forbear; 

The Four P.P. 37 

The trimming and pinning up their gear ; 

Especially their fiddling- with the tail-pin; 

And when they would have it pricked in, 

If it chance to double in the cloth, 

Then be they wood, and sweareth an oath. 

Till it stand right they will not forsake it, [it. 

Thus though it may not, yet would they make 

But be ye sure they do but defer it ; 

For when they would make it, oft times mar it. 

But prick them and pin them as nice as ye will, 

And yet will they look for pinning still. 

So that I durst hold with you a joint, 

Ye shall never have them at a full point. 

Pedlar. Let women's matters pass, and 

mark mine : 
Whatever their points be, these points be fine. 
Wherefore, if ye be willing to buy, 
Lay down money, come, off quickly. 

Palmer. Nay, by my troth, we be like friars ; 
We are but beggars, we be no buyers, [mind. 

Pard. Sir, ye may show your ware for your 
^Jut I think ye shall no profit find. [cost, 

Pedlar. Well, though this journey acquit no 
Yet think I not my labour lost : 
For, by the faith of my body_, 
I like full well this company. 
Up shall this pack, for it is plain 
I came not hither all for gain. 
Who may not play one day in a week, 
May think his thrift is far to seek. 
Devise what pastime that ye think best, 
And make ye sure to find me prest. 

'Poth. Why, be ye so universal, 
That ye can do whatsoever ye shall? 

Pedlar. Sir, if ye list for to oppose me, 
What I can do, then shall you see. 

38 The Four P.P. 

'Poth. Then tell me this : are you perfit in 
drinking? [by thinking". 

Pedlar. Perfit in drinking? as may be wished 

'Poth. Then, after your drinking, how fall 
ye to winking? [is tinking ; 

Pedlar. Sir, after drinking, while the shot 
Some heads be swimming, but mine will be 


And upon drinking my eyes will be pinking : 
For winking to drinking is alway linking, [do ; 

'Poth. Then drink and sleep you can well 
But if ye were desired thereto, 
I pray you tell me, can you sing? 

Pedlar. Sir, I have some sight in singing. 

'Poth. But is your breast any thing sweet? 

Pedlar. Whatever my breast be, my voice is 
meet. [singing man. 

'Poth. That answer showeth you a right 
Now what is your will, good father, then? 

Palmer. What helpeth will, where is no 
skill? [will? 

Pard. And what helpeth skill, where is no 

'Poth. For will or skill, what helpeth it, 
Where forward knave be lacking wit? 
Leave off this curiosity. [sing. 

And who that list, sing after me. [Here they 

Pedlar. This liketh me well, so mot I thee. - 

Pard. So help me God, it liketh not me. 
Where company is met and well agreed, 
Good pastime doth right well indeed. 
But who can sit in daliance, 
Men sit in such a variance? 
As we were set, ere ye came in, 
Which strife this man did first begin ; 
Alleging that such men as use 
For love of God, and not refuse 

The Four P.P. 39 

On foot to go from place to place 

A pilgrimage, calling for grace, 

Shall in that pain with penitence 

Obtain discharge of conscience : 

Comparing that life for the best 

Induction to your endless rest. 

Upon these words our matter grew : 

For if he could avow them true, 

As good to be a gardener. 

As for to be a pardoner. 

But when I heard him so far wide, 

I then approached and replied : 

Saying this, that this indulgence, 

Having the foresaid penitence, 

Dischargeth man of all offence 

With much more profit than this pretence. 

I ask but twopence at the most ; 

I-wis this is not very great cost, 

And from all pain without despair, 

My soul for to keep even in his chair, 

And when he dieth, he may be sure 

To come to heaven even at pleasure. 

And more than heaven he cannot get, 

How far soever he list to jet. 

Then is his pain more than his wit, 

To walk to heaven, since he may sit. 

Sir, as we were in this contention, 

In came this daw with his invention ; 

Reviling us, himself avaunting, 

That all the souls to heaven ascending 

Are most bound to the 'pothecary, 

Because he helpeth most men to die, 

Before which death he saith indeed, 

No soul in heaven can have his mede. 

Pedlar. Why, do 'pothecaries kill men? 

'Poth. By God, men say so, now and then. 

40 The Four P.P. 

Pedlar. And I thought ye would not have 

To make them live as long as ye list. 

'Poth. As long as we list? nay, as long as 
they can. 

Pedlar. So might we live without you then. 

'Poth. Yea, but yet it is necessary 
For to have a 'pothecary : 
For when ye feel your conscience ready, 
I can send you to heaven quickly. 
Wherefore, concerning our matter here, 
Above these twain I am best clear ; 
And if ye list to take me so, 
I am content : you and no mo 
Shall be our judge as in this case, 
Which of us three shall take the best place. 

Pedlar. I neither will judge thee best nor 
For be ye blest or be ye curst, [worst ; 

Ye know it is no whit my sleight 
To be a judge in matters of weight. 
It behoveth no pedlars nor proctors 
To take on them judgment as doctors : 
But if your minds be only set 
To work for soul-health, ye be well met : 
For each of you somewhat doth show, 
That souls toward heaven by you do grow. 
Then if ye can so well agree, 
To continue together all three; 
And all you three obey one will, 
Then all your minds ye may fulfil. 
As if ye came all to one man, 
Who should go pilgrimage more than he can? 
In that ye, Palmer, as deputy, 
May clearly discharge him, parde; 
And for all other sins once had contrition, 
Your pardons giveth him full remission. 

The Four P.P. 41 

And then ye, Master Tothecary, 

May send him to heaven by and by, [prime, 

'Poth. If he taste. this box nigh about the 
By the mass, he is in heaven ere evensong time. 
My craft is such, that I can right well 
Send my friends to heaven and myself to hell. 
But, sirs, mark this man, for he is wise, 
Who could devise such a device : 
For if we three may be as one, 
Then be we lords everychone ; 
Between us all could not be mist 
To save the souls of whom we list. 
But for good order, at a word, 
Twain of us must wait on the third. 

'Poth. And unto that I do agree, 
For both you twain shall wait on me. 

Pard. What chance is this, that such an elf 
Command two knaves beside himself? 
Nay, nay, my friend, that will not be; 
I am too good to wait on thee. 

Palmer. By our lady, and I would be loth 
To wait on the better of you both. 

Pedlar. Yet be ye sure for all this doubt, 
This waiting must be brought about. 
Men cannot prosper, wilfully led ; 
All things decay, where is no head. 
Wherefore, doubtless, mark what I say, 
To one of you three twain must obey. 
And since ye cannot agree in voice, 
W r ho shall be head, there is no choice 
But to devise some manner thing, 
Wherein ye all be like conning ; 
And in the same who can do best, 
The other twain do make them prest, 
In every thing of his intent, 
Wholly to be at commandment. 

42 The Four P.P 

And now have I found one mastery, 

That ye can do indifferently ; 

And is nother selling nor buying-, 

But even on very lying. 

And all ye three can lie as well, 

As can the falsest devil in hell. 

And though afore ye heard me grudge 

In greater matters to be your judge, 

Yet in lying I can some skill, 

And if I shall be judge, I will. 

And be you sure, without flattery, 

Where my conscience findeth the mastery, 

There shall my judgment straight be found, 

Though I might win a thousand pound. 

Palmer. Sir, for lying, though I can do it : 
Yet am I loth for to go to it. 

Pedlar. Ye have no cause for fear, be bold, 
For ye may here lie uncontrolled. 
And ye in this have good advantage, 
For lying is your common usage. 
And you in lying be well sped, 
For all your craft doth stand in falsehood. 
Ye need not care who shall begin ; 
For each of you may hope to win. 
Now speak all three even as ye find : 
Be ye agreed to follow my mind ? 

Palmer. Yea, by my troth, I am content. 

Pard. Now, in good faith, and I assent. 

'Poth. If I denied, I were a noddy; 
For all is mine, by God's body, 

[Here the 'Pothecary hoppeth. 

Palmer. Here were a hopper to hop for the 

But, sir, this gear goeth not by hopping, [well, 

r'Poth. Sir, in this hopping I will hop so 
That my tongue shall hop better than my heel : 

The Four P.P. 43 

Upon which hopping I hope, and not doubt it, 

To hop so, that ye shall hop without it. 

Palmer. Sir, I will neither boast ne brawl. 

But take such fortune as may fall : 

And if ye win this mastery, 

I will obey you quietly : 

And sure I think that quietness 

In any man is great riches 

In any manner company, 

, To rule or be ruled indifferently. [indeed, 

**~~Pard. By that boast thou seemest a beggar 

What can thy quietness help us at need? 

If we should starve, thou hast not, I think, 

One penny to buy us one pot of drink. 

Nay, if riches might rule the roost, 

Behold what cause I have to boast ! 

Lo, here be pardons half a dozen, 

For ghostly riches they have no cousin. 

And moreover to me they bring 

Sufficient succour for my living. 

And here be relics of such a kind, 

As in this world no man can find, [ m gf> 

Kneel down all three, and when ye leave kiss- 

Who list to offer shall have my blessing. 

Friends, here shall ye see even anon 

Of All-Hallows the blessed jaw-bone, 

Kiss it hardily with good devotion. [motion 
'Poth. This kiss shall bring us much pro- 

Foh, by St Saviour, I never kissed a worse; 
Ye were as good kiss All-Hallows' arse; 

For, by All-Hallows, yet me-thinketh, 

That All-Hallows' breath stinketh. [known : 
Palmer. Ye judge All-Hallows' breath un- 

If any breath stink, it is your own. 

'Poth. I know mine own breath from All- 

44 The Four P.P. 

Or else it were time to kiss the gallows. 

Pard. Nay, sirs, behold, here may ye see 
The great toe of the Trinity : 
Who to this toe any money voweth, 
And once may roll it in his mouth, 
All his life after, I undertake, 
He shall never be vexed with the toothache. 

'Poth. I pray you turn that relic about : 
Either the Trinity had the gout, 
Or else, because it is three toes in one, 
God made it as much as three toes alone, [this. 

Pard. Well, let that pass, and look upon 
Here is a relic that doth not miss 
To help the least as well as the most : 
This is a buttock-bone of Pentecost. 

'Poth. By Christ, and yet for all your boast, 
This relic hath beshitten the roast. [whipper, 

Pard. Mark well this relic : here is a 
My friends unfeigned : here is a slipper 
Of one of the Seven Sleepers, be sure. 
Doubtless this kiss shall do you great pleasure ; 
For all these two days it shall so ease you, 
That none other savours shall displease you. 

'Poth. All these two days ! nay, all these 

two years ; 

For all the savours that may come here 
Can be no worse; for at a word 
One of the seven sleepers trod in a turd. 

Pedlar. Sir, me-thinketh your devotion is 
but small. 

Pard. Small ! marry me-thinketh he hath 
none at all. [think? 

'Poth. What the devil care I what ye 
Shall I praise relics, when they stink? [Turk. 

Pard. Here is an eye-tooth of the Great 
Whose eyes be once set on this piece of work, 

The Four P.P. 45 

May happily lese part of his eyesight, 
But not till he be blind outright. 

'Poth. Whatsoever any other man seeth, 
I have no devotion unto Turks' teeth : 
For although I never saw a greater, 
Yet me-thinketh I have seen many better. 

Pard. Here is a box full of humble bees, 
That stang Eve as she sat on her knees, 
Tasting the fruit to her forbidden. 
Who kisseth the bees within this hidden, 
Shall have as much pardon of right, 
As for any relic he kissed this night. [heart. 

Palmer. Sir, I will kiss them with all my 

'Poth. Kiss them again, and take my part, 
For I am not worthy : nay, let be : 
Those bees that stung Eve shall not sting riie. 

Pard. Good friends, I have yet here in this 
Which on the drink at the wedding was [glass, 
Of Adam and Eve undoubtedly. 
If ye honour this relic devoutly, 
Although ye thirst no whit the less, 
Yet shall ye drink the more, doubtless : 
After which drinking ye shall be as meet 
To stand on your head as on your feet. 

'Poth. Yea, marry, now I can you thank ; 
In presence of this the rest be blank. 
Would God this relic had come rather : 
Kiss that relic well, good father. 
Such is the pain that ye palmers take 
To kiss the pardon-bowl for the drink sake. 
O holy yeast, that looketh full sour and stale, 
For God's body, help me to a cup of ale. 
The more I behold thee, the more I thirst : 
The oftener I kiss thee, the more like to burst. 
But since I kiss thee so devoutly, 
Hire me, and help me with drink, till I die. 

46 The Four P.P. 

What, so much praying and so little speed? 

Pard. Yea, for God knoweth when it is need 
To send folks drink ; but, by St Anthony, 
I ween he hath sent you too much already. 

'Poth. If I have never the more for thee, 
Then be thy relics no riches to me ; 
Nor to thyself, except they be 
More beneficial than I can see. 
Richer is one box of this triacle, 
Than all thy relics, that do no miracle. 
If thou hadst prayed but half so much to me, 
As I have prayed to thy relics and thee, 
Nothing concerning mine occupation, [tion : 
But straight should have wrought one opera- 
And as in value I pass you an ace, 
So here lieth much richness in little space. 
I have a box of rhubarb here, 
Which is as dainty as it is dear. 
So help me God and halidom, 
Of this I would not give a dram 
To the best friend I have in England's ground, 
Though he would give me twenty pound. 
For though the stomach do it abhor, 
It purgeth you clean from the choler ; 
And maketh your stomach sore to waiter, 
That ye shall never come to the halter. 

Pedlar. Then is that medicine a sovereign 

To preserve a man from hanging. [ye see, 

'Poth. If ye will taste but this crumb that 
If ever ye be hanged, never trust me. 
Here have I diapompholicus, 
A special ointment, as doctors discuss, 
For a fistula or for a canker : 
This ointment is even shot-anchor; 
For this medicine helpeth one and other, 

The Four P.P. 47 

Or bringeth them in case that they need no 

Here is a syrapus de Byzansis, [other. 

A little thing is enough of this ; 

For even the weight of one scruple 

Shall make you as strong as a cripple. 

Here are others, as diosfialios, 

Diagalanga and sticados, 

Blanka, manna, dios politic on, 

Mercury sublime and metridaticon t 

Pellitory and arsefetita; 

Cassy and colloquintita. 

These be the things that break all strife 

Between man's sickness and his life. 

From all pain these shall you deliver, 

And set you even at rest for ever. 

Here is a medicine no mo like the same, 

Which commonly is called thus by name 

Alikakabus or Alkakengy, 

A goodly thing for dogs that be mangy. 

Such be these medicines, that I can 

Help a dog as well as a man. 

Not one thing here particularly, 

Rut worketh universally ; 

For it doth me as much good, when I sell it, 

As all the buyers that taste it or smell it. 

Now since my medicines be so special, 

And in one operation so general, 

And ready to work whensoever they shall, 

So that in riches I am principal ; 

If any reward may entreat ye, 

I beseech your maship be good to me, 

And ye shall have a box of marmalade, 

So fine that you may dig it with a spade. 

Pedlar. Sir, I thank you ; but your reward 
Is not the thing that I regard : 
I must and will be indifferent ; 

48 The Four P.P. 

Wherefore proceed in your intent. 

'Poth. Now if I wist this wish no sin, 
I would to God I might begin. 

'Pard. I am content that thou lie first. 

Palmer. Even so am I ; now say thy worst. 
Now let us hear, of all thy lies, 
The greatest lie thou mayst devise. 
And in the fewest words thou can. 

'Poth. Forsooth, ye be an honest man. 

ft*&w. There said ye much, but yet no lie. 

Pard. Now lie ye both, by Our Lady. 
Thou liest in boast of his honesty, 
And he hath lied in affirming thee. 

'Poth. If we both lie, and ye say true, 
Then of these lies your part adieu ! 
And if ye win, make none avaunt, 
For you are sure of one ill servant. 
You may perceive by the words he gave, 
He taketh your maship but for knave. 
But who told truth or lied indeed, 
That will I know, ere we proceed. 
Sir, after that I first began 
To praise you for an honest man, 
When ye affirmed it for no lie : 
Now, by your faith, speak even truly ; 
Thought ye your affirmation true? 

Palmer. Yea, marry, for I would ye knew, 
I think myself an honest man. [then? 

'Poth. What thought ye in the contrary 

Pard. In that I said the contrary, 
I think from truth I did not vary. 

'Poth. And what of my words? 

Pard. I thought ye lied. 

'Poth. And so thought I, by God that died. 
Now have you twain each for himself laid, 
That none hath lied, but both true said: 

The Four P.P. 49 

And of us twain none hath denied, 
But both affirmed that I have lied. 
Now since both ye the truth confess, 
How that I lied, do bear witness, 
That twain of us may soon agree, 
And that the Her the winner must be, 
Who could provide such evidence, 
I/VJ As I have done in this pretence? 
1 Me-thinketh this matter sufficient 

To cause you to give judgment ; 
i And to give me the mastery, 

For ye perceive these knaves cannot lie. 

Palmer. Though nother of us yet had lied, 
Yet what we can do is untried ; 
For as yet we have devised nothing, 
But answered you and given you hearing. 

Pedlar.- Therefore I have devised one way, 
Whereby all three your minds may say, 
For each of you one tale shall tell, 
And which of you telleth most marvel, 
And most unlikest to be true, 
Shall most prevail, whatever ensue. 

'Poth. If ye be set on marvelling, 
Then shall ye hear a marvellous thing. 
And though, indeed, all be not true, 
Yet sure the most part shall be new. 
I did a cure no longer ago, 
But in anno domini millesimo, 
On a woman young and so fair, 
That never have I seen a gayer. 
God save all women of that likeness. 
This wanton had the falling sickness, 
Which by descent came lineally, 
For her mother had it naturally : 
Wherefore this woman to recure, 
It was more hard, ye may be sure. 

50 The Four P.P. 

But though I boast my craft is such, 

That in such things I can do much : 

How oft she fell were much to report ; 

But her head so giddy, and her belly so short, 

That, with the twinkling of an eye, 

Down would she fall even by and by. 

But ere she would arise again, 

I showed much practice much to my pain. 

For the tallest man within this town 

Could not with ease have broken her swoon. 

Although for life I did not doubt her, 

Yet I did take more pains about her, 

Than I would take with my own sister. 

Sir, at the last I gave her a glister : 

I thrust a tampion in her tewell, 

And bade her keep it for a jewel ; 

But I knew there it was too heavy to carry, 

That I sure was it would not tarry : 

For where gunpowder is once fired, 

The tampion will no lenger be hired : 

Which was well seen in time of this chance, 

For when I had charged this ordnance, 

Suddenly, as it had thundered, 

Even at a clap loosed her bombard. 

Now mark, for here beginneth the revel : 

This tampion flew ten long mile level, 

To a fair castle of lime and stone, 

For strength I know not such a one, 

Which stood upon a hill full high, 

At foot whereof a river ran by, 

So deep, till chance had it forbidden, 

Well might the Regent there have ridden. 

But when this tampion at this castle did light, 

It put the castle so fair to flight, 

That down they came each upon other, 

No stone left standing, by God's mother ! 


The Four P.P. 51 

But rolled down so fast the hill 

In such a number, and so did fill 

From bottom to brim, from shore to shore, 

This foresaid river so deep before, 

That who list now to walk thereto, 

May wade it over and wet no shoe. 

So was this castle laid wide open, 

That every man might see the token. 

But in a good hour may these words be spoken 

After the tampion on the walls was wroken, 

And piece by piece in pieces broken. 

And she delivered with such violence 

Of all her inconvenience, 

I left her in good health and lust ; 

And so she doth continue, I trust. 

Pedlar. Sir, in your cure I can nothing tell ; 
But to your purpose ye have said well. 

Pard. Well, sir, then mark what I can say. 
I have been a pardoner many a day, 
And done greater cures ghostly 
Than ever he did bodily. 
Namely this one, which ye shall hear, 
Of one departed within this seven year, 
A friend of mine, and likewise I 
To her again was as friendly : 
Who fell so sick so suddenly, 
That dead she was even by and by, 
And never spake with priest nor clerk, 
Nor had no whit of this holy work ; 
For I was thence, it could not be, 
Yet heard I say she asked for me. 
But when I bethought me how this chanced, 
And that I have to heaven avanced 
So many souls to me but strangers, 
And could not keep my friend from dangers, 
But she to die so dangerously, 

E 2 

52 The Four P.P. 

For her soul-health especially ; 

That was the thing that grieved me so, 

That nothing could realise my woe, 

Till I had tried even out of hand, 

In what estate her soul did stand. 

For which trial, short tale to make, 

I took this journey for her sake. 

Give ear, for here beginneth the story : 

From hence I went to Purgatory, 

And took with me this gear in my fist, 

Whereby I may do there what I list. 

I knocked and was let in quickly : 

But, Lord, how low the souls made curtesy ; 

And I to every soul again 

Did give a beck them to retain, 

And asked them this question then, 

If that the soul of such a woman 

Did late among them there appear? 

Whereto they said, she came not here. 

Then feared I much it was not well ; 

Alas, thought I, she is in hell; 

For with her life I was so acquainted, 

That sure I thought she was not sainted. 

With this it chanced me to sneeze ; 

Christ help, quoth a soul that lay for his fees. 

Those words, quoth I, thou shalt not lese; 

Then with these pardons of all degrees 

I paid his toll and set him so quit, 

That straight to heaven he took his flight, 

And I from thence to hell that night, 

To help this woman, if I might ; 

Not as who saith by authority, 

But by the way of entreaty. 

And first to the devil that kept the gate 

I came, and spake after this rate : 

All hail, sir devil, and made low curtesy : 

The Four P.P. 53 

Welcome, quoth he thus smilingly. 

He knew me well, and I at last 

Remembered him since long time past : 

For, as good hap would have it chance, 

This devil and I were of old acquaintance ; 

For oft, in the play of Corpus Christi, 

He hath played the devil at Coventry. 

By his acquaintance and my behaviour, 

He showed to me right friendly favour, 

And to make my return the shorter, 

I said to this devil : Good master porter, 

For all old love, if it lie in your power, 

Help me to speak with my lord and your. 

Be sure, quoth he, no tongue can tell, 

What time thou couldst have come so well : 

For as on this day Lucifer fell, 

Which is our festival in hell. 

Nothing unreasonable craved this day, 

That shall in hell have any nay. 

But yet beware thou come not in, 

Till time thou may thy passport win. 

Wherefore stand still, and I will wit, 

If I can get thy safe-conduit. 

He tarried not, but shortly got it 

Under seal, and the Devil's hand at it, 

In ample wise, as ye shall hear; 

Thus it began : Lucifer, 

By the power of God, chief devil of hell, 

To all the devils that there do dwell 

And every of them, we send greeting, 

Under strait charge and commanding, 

That they aiding and assistant be 

To such a Pardoner, and named me, 

So that he may at liberty 

Pass safe without any jeopardy, 

Till that he be from us extinct, 

54 The Four P.P. 

And clearly out of hell's precinct. 
And his pardon to keep in safeguard, 
We will they lie in the porter's ward. 
Given in the furnace of our palace, 
In our high court of matters of malice, 
Such a day and year of our reign. 
God save the devil, quoth I, amain. 
I trust this writing to be sure : 
Then put thy trust, quod he, in ure, 
Since thou art sure to take no harm. 

PThis devil and I walked arm in arm 
So far, till he had brought me thither, 

Where all the devils of hell together 
Stood in array in such apparel, 
As for that day there meetly fell. 
Their horns well-gilt, their claws full clean, 
Their tails well-kempt, and, as I ween, 
With sothery butter their bodies anointed ; 

? I never saw devils so well appointed. 
The master-devil sat in his jacket, 
And all the souls were playing at racket. 

: None other rackets they had in hand, 

: Save every soul a good firebrand : 
Wherewith they played so prettily, 
That Lucifer laughed merrily ; 
And all the residue of the fiends 

.Did laugh thereat full well like friends. 
But of my friend I saw no whit, 
Nor durst not ask for her as yet. 
Anon all this rout was brought in silence, 
And I by an usher brought in presence 
Of Lucifer; then low, as well I could, 
I kneeled, which he so well allowed, 
That thus he becked, and, by St Anthony, 
He smiled on me well-favouredly, 
Bending his brows as broad as barn-doors, 

The Four P.P. 55 

Shaking his ears as rugged as burrs ; 
Rolling his eyes as round as two bushels ; 
Flashing the fire out of his nosthrils ; 
Gnashing his teeth so vaingloriously, 
That me-thought time to fall to flattery, 
Wherewith I told, as I shall tell : 

pleasant picture ! O prince of hell ! 
Feutred in fashion abhominable, 

And since that is inestimable 
For me to praise thee worthily. 

1 leave of praise, as unworthy 

To give thee praise, beseeching thee 
To hear my suit, and then to be 
So good to grant the thing I crave ; 
And, to be short, this would I have : 
The soul of one which hither is flitted, 
Delivered hence, and to me remitted. 
And in this doing, though all be not quit, 
Yet in some part I shall deserve it, 

thus : I am a pardoner, 
And over souls as controller, 
Thorough out the earth my power doth stand, 
Where many a soul lieth on my hand, 
That speed in matters as I use them, 
As I receive them or refuse them. 
W r hereby what time thy pleasure is, 
I shall requite any part of this, 
The least devil here that can come thither, 
Shall choose a soul and bring him hither. 
Ho, ho ! quoth the devil, we are well pleased ; 
What is his name thou wouldst have eased ? 

. Nay, quoth I, be it good or evil, 

I My coming is for a she devil. 

What callst her, quoth he, thou whoreson? 

{^Forsooth, quoth I, Margery Corson. 
Now, by our honour, said Lucifer, 

56 The Four P.P. 

|No devil in hell shall withhold her ; 
And if thou wouldest have twenty mo, 
Wert not for justice, they should go. 
For all we devils within this den 
Have more to do with two women, 
Than with all the charge we have beside ; 
Wherefore, if thou our friend will be tried, 
Apply thy pardons to women so, 
That unto us there come no mo. 
To do my best I promised by oath ; 
Which I have kept, for, as the faith goeth, 
At this day to heaven I do procure 
_Ten women to one man, be sure. 
Then of Lucifer my leave I took, 
And straight unto the master-cook 
I was had into the kitchen, 
For Margery's office was therein. 
All things handled there discreetly, 
For every soul beareth office meetly : 
Which might be seen to see her sit 
So busily turning of the spit. 
For many a spit here hath she turned, 
And many a good spit hath she burned : 
And many a spitful hot hath roasted, 
Before the meat could be half roasted, 
And ere the meat were half-roasted indeed, 
I took her then fro the spit with speed. 
But when she saw this brought to pass, 
To tell the joy wherein she was ! 
And of all the devils, for joy how they 
Did roar at her delivery ! 
And how the chains in hell did ring. 
And how all the souls therein did sing; 
And how we were brought to the gate, 
And how we took our leave thereat, 
Be sure lack of time suffereth not 

The Four P.P. 57 

To rehearse the twentieth part of that, 

Wherefore, this tale to conclude briefly, 

This woman thanked me chiefly, 

That she was rid of this endless death, 

And so we departed on Newmarket-heath. 

And if that any man do mind her, 

Who lists to seek her, there shall he find her. 

Pedlar. Sir, you have sought her wonders 
And where ye found her as ye tell, [well, 

To hear the chance ye had in hell, 
I find ye were in great peril. ^ 

Palmer. His tale is all much perilous ; 
But part is much more marvellous : 
As where he said the devils complain, 
That women put them to such pain. 
Be their conditions so crooked and crabbed, 
Frowardly fashioned, so wayward and wrabbed. 
So far in division, and stirring such strife, 
That all the devils be weary of their life. 
This in effect he told for truth. 
Whereby much marvel to me ensueth, 
That women in hell such shrews can be, 
And here so gentle, as far as I see. 
Yet have I seen many a mile, 
And many a woman in the while. 
Not one good city, town, or borough 
In Christendom, but I have been thorough, 
And this I would ye should understand, 
I have seen women five hundred thousand : 
And oft with them have long time tarried. 
Yet in all places where I have been, 
Of all the women that I have seen, 
I never saw nor knew in my conscience 
Any one woman out of patience. 

'Poth. By the mass, there is a great lie. 

Pard. I never heard a greater, by our Lady. 

5 The Four P.P. 

Pedlar. A greater ! nay, know ye any so 

Palmer. Sir, whether that I lose or get, 
For my part judgment shall be prayed. 

Pard. And I desire, as he hath said. 

'Poth. Proceed, and ye shall be obeyed. 
" Pedlar. Then shall not judgment be delayed, 
Of all these three, if each man's tale 
In Paul's Churchyard were set on sale, 
In some man's hand that hath the sleight, 
He should sure sell these tales by weight ; 
For as they weigh, so be they worth, 
But which weigheth best, to that now forth. 
Sir, all the tale that ye did tell 
I bear in mind, and yours as well : 
And as ye saw the matter meetly, 
So lied ye both well and discreetly ; 
Yet were your lies with the least, trust me ; 
For if ye had said ye had made flee 
Ten tampions out of ten women's tails, 
Ten times ten mile to ten castles or jails, 
And filled ten rivers ten times so deep, [keep ; 
As ten of that which your castle-stones did 
Or if ye ten times had bodily 
Fet ten souls out of purgatory ; 
And ten times so many out of hell : 
Yet, by these ten bones, I could right well, 
Ten times sooner all that believed, 
Than the tenth part of that he hath meved. 

'Poth. Two knaves before one lacketh two 

knaves of five : 

Then one, and then one, and both knaves alive. 
Then two, and then two, and three at a cast, 
Thou knave, and thou knave, and thou knave 

at last. 
Nay knave, if ye try me by number, 

The Four P.P. 59 

I will as knavishly you accumber 
Your mind is all on your privy tithe, 
For all in ten me-thinketh your wit li'th. 
Now ten times I beseech him that high sits, 
Thy wife's ten commandments may search thy 

five wits. 

Then ten of my turds in ten of thy teeth, 
And ten on thy nose, which every man seeth ; 
And twenty times ten this wish I would 
That thou hadst been hanged at ten year old : 
For thou goest about to make me a slave. 
I will thou know that I am a gentle knave. 
And here is another shall take my part, [heart, 
Pard. Nay, first I beshrew your knave's 
Ere I take part in your knavery : 
I will speak fair, by our lady. 
Sir, I beseech your maship to be 

r-As good as ye can be unto me. 

Pedlar. I would be glad to do you good, 

I And him also, be he ever so wood ; 
But doubt you not I will now do 
The thing my conscience leadeth me to. 
Both your tales I take for impossible, 
Yet take I his farther incredible. 
Not only the thing itself alloweth it, 
But also the boldness thereof avoweth it. 
I know not where your tale to try ; 
Nor yours, but in hell or purgatory. 
But his boldness hath faced a lie, 
That may be tried even in this company. 
As if ye list to take this order, 
Among the women in this border, [oldest, 

Take three of the youngest, and three of the 
Three of the hottest, and three of the coldest, 
Three of the wisest, and three of the shrewdest, 
Three of the chastest, and three of the lewdest 

6o The Four P.P. 

Three of the lowest, and three of the highest, 

Three of the farthest, and three of the nighest, 

Three of the fairest, and three of the maddest, 

Three of the foulest, and three of the saddest, 

And when all these threes be had asunder 

Of each three, two justly by number 

Shall be found shrews, except this fall, 

That ye hap to find them shrews all. 

Himself for truth all this doth know, 

And oft hath tried some of this row ; 

And yet he sweareth by his conscience, 

He never saw woman break patience. 

Wherefore, considered with true intent, 

His lie to be so evident, 

And to appear so evidently, 

That both you affirmed it a lie; 

And that my conscience so deeply 

So deep hath sought this thing to try, 

And tried it with mind indifferent ; 

Thus I award by way of judgment : 

Of all the lies ye all have spent, 

His lie to be most excellent. [equity 

Palmer. Sir, though ye were bound of 
To do as ye have done to me, 
Yet do I thank you of your pain, 
^ And will requite some part again. 

Pard. Marry, sir, ye can no less do, 
But thank him as much as it cometh to ; 
And so will I do for my part. 
Now a vengeance on thy knave's heart, 
I never knew a pedlar a judge before, 
Nor never will trust pedling knave more. 
What doest thou there, thou whoreson noddy ? 

'Poth. By the mass, learn to make cour 
tesy : 
Courtesy before, and courtesy behind him, 

The Four P.P. 61 

And then on each side, the devil blind him ! 
Nay, when ye have it perfitly, 
Ye shall have the devil and all of courtesy : 
But it is not soon learned, gentle brother, 
One knave to make courtesy to another. 
Yet when I am angry, that is the worst, 
I shall call my master knave at the first. 

Palmer. Then would some master perhaps 
But, as for me, ye need not doubt ye; [clout ye, 
For I had liever be without ye, 
Than have such business about ye. 

'Poth. So help me God, so were ye better ; 
What, should a beggar be a jetter? 
It were no whit your honesty 
To have us twain jet after ye. 

Pard. Sir, be your sure he telleth you true, 
If we should wait, this would ensue : 
It would be said, trust me at a word, 
Two knaves made courtesy to the third, [mind, 

Pedlar. Now, by my troth, to speak my 
Since they be so loth to be assigned, 
To let them lose I think it best. 
And so shall ye live the better in rest. 

Palmer. Sir, I am not on them so fond, 
To compel them to keep their bond ; 
And since ye list not to wait on me, 
I clearly of waiting do discharge ye. 

Pard. Marry, sir, I heartily thank you. 

'Poth. And likewise I, to God I vow. 

Pedlar. Now be ye all even as ye began ; 
No man hath lost, nor no man hath wan. 
Yet in the debate wherewith ye began, 
By way of advice I will speak as I can. 
I do perceive that pilgrimage 
Is chief the thing ye have in usage ; 
Whereto in effect, for the love of Christ, 

62 The Four P.P. 

Ye have, or should have been enticed : 

And who so doth with such intent, 

Doth well declare his time well-spent. 

And so do ye in your pretence, 

If ye procure thus indulgence 

Unto your neighbours charitably, 

For love of them in God only. 

All this may be right well applied 

To show you both well occupied : 

For though ye walk not both one way, 

Yet walking thus, this dare I say, 

That both your walks come to one end ; 

And so for all that do pretend 

By aid of God's grace to ensue 

Any manner kind of virtue ; 

As some great alms for to give : 

Some, in wilful poverty to live : 

Some, to make highways and such like works, 

And some to maintain priests and clerks 

To sing and pray for soul departed : 

These, with all other virtues well marked, 

Although they be of sundry kinds, 

Yet be they not used with sundry minds. 

But as God only doth all those move, 

So every man only for his love, 

With love and dread obediently 

Worketh in these virtues uniformly. 

Thus every virtue, if we list to scan, 

Is pleasant to God and thankful to man. 

And who that, by grace of the Holy Ghost, 

To any one virtue is moved most, 

That man by that grace that one apply, 

And therein serve God most plentifully, 

Yet not that one so far wide to wrest : 

So liking the same, to mislike the rest. 

For who so wresteth, his work is in vain ; 

The Four P.P. 63 

And even in that case I perceive you twain : 
Liking your virtue in such wise, 
That each other's virtue ye do despise. 
Who walketh this way for God, would find him, 
The farther they seek him, the farther behind 
One kind of virtue to despise another, [him. 
Is like as the sister might hang the brother. 

'Poth. For fear lest such perils to me might 
I thank God I use no virtue at all. [fall, 

Pedlar. That is of all the very worst way ; 
For more hard it is, as I have heard say, 
To begin virtue where none is pretended, 
Than where it is begun, th' abuse to be 
How be it, ye be not all to begin, [mended. 
One sign of virtue ye are entered in : 
As this, I suppose ye did say true, 
In that ye said ye use no virtue. 
In the which words I dare well report, 
You are well beloved of all this sort, 
By your railing here openly 
At pardons and relics so lewdly. 

'Poth. In that I think my fault not great ; 
For all that he hath I know counterfeit. 

Pedlar. For his and all other that ye know 


You be not counselled nor constrained 
To any such thing in any such case, 
To give any reverence in any such place. 
But where ye doubt, the truth not knowing, 
Believing the best, good may be growing, 
In judging the best, no harm at the least ; 
In judging the worst, no good at the best. 
But best in these things it seemeth to me, 
To make no judgment upon ye ; 
But as the church doth judge or take them, 
So do ye receive or forsake them. 

64 The Four P.P. 

And so be you sure ye cannot err, 
But may be a fruitful follower. 

'Poth. Go ye before, and as I am true man, 
I will follow as fast as I can. [well, 

Pard. And so will I, for he hath said so 
Reason would we should follow his counsel. 

Palmer. Then to our reason God give us 

his grace, 

That we may follow with faith so firmly 
His commandments, that we may purchase 
His love, and so consequently 
To believe his church fast and faithfully ; 
So that we may, according to his promise, 
Be kept out of error in any wise. 
And all that hath scaped us here by negligence, 
We clearly revoke and forsake it ; 
To pass the time in this without offence, 
Was the cause why the Maker did make it ; 
And so we humbly beseech you to take it, 
Beseeching our Lord to prosper you all 
In the faith of his Church Universal. 


Imprynted at London in Fletestrete at the sygne of 
the George, by Wyllyam Myddylton. 

[Facsimile of the Title-page of the Bodleian Copy : 
sec Note-Jlook.] 




Between JOHN JOHN, the husband, TYB, his wife, 
and SIR JOHN, the priest 

John John, the Husband. God speed you, 

masters, every one, 
Wot ye not whither my wife is gone? 
I pray God the devil take her, 
For all that I do I can not make her, 
But she will go a gadding very much 
Like an Antony pig with an old witch, 
Which leadeth her about hither and thither; 
But, by our lady, I wot not whither. 
But, by Gog's blood, were she come home 
Unto this my house, by our lady of Crome, 
I would beat her or that I drink. 
Beat her, quotha? yea, that she shall stink ! 
And at every stroke lay her on the ground, 
And train her by the hair about the house 
I am even mad that I beat her not now, [round. 
But I shall reward her, hard[e]ly, well ynowe ; 
There is never a wife between heaven and hell 
Which was ever beaten half so well. [of die? 

Beaten, quotha? yea, but what and sfie there- 
Then I may chance to be hanged shortly. 
And when I have beaten her till she smoke, 
And given her many a c. stroke, 
Think ye that she will amend yet ? 

(67) F 2 

68 John, Tyb, and Sir John 

Nay, by our lady, the devil speed whit ! 
Therefore I will not beat her at all. 

And shall I not beat her? no shall? 
When she offendeth and doth amiss, 
And keepeth not her house, as her duty is ? 
Shall I not beat her, if she do so? 
Yes, by Cock's blood, that shall I do; 

I shall beat her and thwack her, I trow, 
That she shall beshif the house for very woe. 

But yet I think what my neighbour will say 
then, [John? " 

He will say thus : " Whom chidest thou, John 
" Marry," will I say ! " I chide my curst wife, 
The veriest drab that ever bare life, 
Which doth nothing but go and come, 
And I can not make her keep her at home." 
Then I think he will say by and by, [hardly." 
" Walk her coat, John John, and beat her 
But then unto him mine answer shall be, 
" The more I beat her the worse is she : 
And worse and worse make her I shall." 

He will say then, " beat her not at all." 

II And why? " shall I say, " this would be wist, 
Is she not mine to chastise as I list? " 

But this is another point worst of all, 
The folks will mock me when they hear me 
But for all that, shall I let therefore [brawl ; 
To chastise my wife ever the more, 
And to make her at home for to tarry? 
Is not that well done? yes, by Saint Mary, 
That is a point of an honest man 
For to beat his wife well now and then. 

Therefore I shall beat her, have ye no dread ! 
And I ought to beat her, till she be stark dead. 
And why? by God, because it is my pleasure, 
And if I should suffer her, I make you sure, 

John, Tyb, and Sir John 69 

Nought should prevail me, nother staff nor 

Within a while she would be my master. 

Therefore I shall beat her by Cock's mother, 
Both on the tone side and on the tother, 
Before and behind ; nought shall be her boot, 
From the top of the head to the sole of the foot. 

But, masters, for God's sake, do not entreat 
For her, when that she shall be beat ; 
But, for God's passion, let me alone, 
And I shall thwack her that she shall groan : 
Wherefore I beseech you, and heartily you 
And I beseech you say me not nay, [pray, 

But that I may beat her for this ones ; 
And I shall beat her, by Cock's bones, 
That she shall stink like a pole-cat ; 
But yet, by Gog's body, that need not, 
For she will stink without any beating, 
For every night once she giveth me an heating ; 
From her issueth such a stinking smoke, 
That the savour thereof almost doth me choke. 
But I shall beat her now, without fail ; 
I shall beat her top and tail, 
Head, shoulders, arms, legs, and all, 
I shall beat her, I trow that I shall ; 
And, by Gog's body, I tell you true, 
I shall beat her till she be black and blue. 

But where the devil trow ye she is gone? 
I hold a noble she is with Sir John ; 
I fear I am beguiled alway, 
But yet in faith I hope well nay ; 
Yet I almost enrage that I ne can 
See the behaviour of our gentlewoman. 
And yet, I think, thither as she doth go "^ 
Many an honest wife goeth thither also, 
For to make some pastime and sport. -i 

70 John, Tyb, and Sir John 

But then my wife so oft doth thither resort 
That I fear she will make me wear a feather. 
But yet I need not for to fear nether, 
For he is her gossip, that is he. 

But abide a while, yet let me see, 
Where the devil hath our gossipry begone? 
My wife had never child, daughter nor son. 

Now if I forbid her that she go no more, 
Yet will she go as she did before, 
Or else will she choose some other place ; 
And then the matter is in as ill case. 

But in faith all these words be in waste, 
For I think the matter is done and past ; 
And when she cometh home she will begin to 
chide, [side ; 

But she shall have her payment stick by her 
For I shall order her, for all her brawling, 
That she shall repent to go a catterwauling. 

[Enter Tyb. 

Tyb. Why, whom wilt thou beat, I say, 
thou knave? 

John. Who, I, Tyb? none, so God me save. 

Tyb. Yes, I heard thee say thou wouldst 
one beat. [Thames Street, 

John. Marry, wife, it was stockfish in 
Which will be good meat against Lent. 
Why, Tyb, what hadst thou thought that I had 
meant? [ing- 

Tyb. Marry, me thought I heard the bawl- 
Wilt thou never leave this wawlyng? 
How the devil dost thou thy self behave? 
Shall we ever have this work, thou knave? 

John. What ! wife, how sayst thou? was it 

well guessed of me 

That thou wouldst be come home in safety, 
As soon as I had kindled a fire? 

John, Tyb, and Sir John 71 

Come warm thee, sweet Tyb, I thee require. 

Tyb. O, John John, I am afraid, by this 
That I shall be sore sick this night. [light, 

John [aside]. By Cock's soul, now, I dare 

lay a swan 

That she comes now straight from Sir John ; 
For ever when she hath fetched of him a lick, 
Then she comes home, and saith she is sick. 

Tyb. What sayst thou? 

John. Marry, I say, 
It is mete for a woman to go play 
Abroad in the town for an hour or two. 

Tyb. Well, gentleman, go to, go to ! 

John. Well, let us have no more debate. 

Tyb [aside]. If he do not fight, chide, and 
Brawl and fare as one that were frantic, [rate, 
There is nothing that may him like. 

John [aside]. If that the parish priest, Sir 
Did not see her now and then, [John, 

And give her absolution upon a bed, 
For woe and pain she would soon be dead. 

Tyb. For God's sake, John John, do thee 
Many a time I am ill at ease. [not displease, 
What thinkest now, am not I somewhat sick ? 

John [aside]. Now would to God, and sweet 

Saint Dyryk, 

That thou wert in the water up to the throat, 
Or in a burning oven red hot, 
To see an I would pull thee out. [doubt. 

Tyb. Now, John John, to put thee out of 
Imagine thou where that I was 
Before I came home. 

John. My percase, 

Thou wast praying in the Church of Poules 
Upon thy knees for all Christian souls. 

Tyb. Nay. 

72 John, Tyb, and Sir John 

John. Then if thou wast not so holy, 
Show me where thou wast, and make no lie? 

Tyb. Truly, John John, we made a pie, 
I and my gossip Margery, 
And our gossip the priest, Sir John, 
And my neighbour's youngest daughter Anne; 
The priest paid for the stuff and the making, 
And Margery she paid for the baking. 

John. By Cock's lylly woundis, that same 

is she, 
That is the most bawdy hence to Coventry. 

Tyb. What say you? 

John. Marry, answer me to this : 
Is not Sir John a good man? 

Tyb. Yes, that he is. 

John. Ha, Tyb ! if I should not grieve thee, 
I have somewhat whereof I would meve thee. 

Tyb. Well, husband ! now I do conject 
That thou hast me somewhat in suspect ; 
But, by my soul, I never go to Sir John 
But I find him like an holy man, 
For either he is saying his devotion, 
Or else he is going in procession. 

John [aside]. Yea, round about the bed doth 

he go, 

You two together, and no mo ; 
And for to finish the procession, 
He leapeth up and thou liest down. 

Tyb. What sayst thou? 

John. Marry, I say he doth well, 
For so ought a shepherd to do, as I heard tell, 
For the salvation of all his fold. 

Tyb. John John ! 

John. What is it that thou would? 

Tyb. By my soul I love thee too too, 
And I shall tell thee, or I further go, 
The pie that was made, I have it now here, 

John, Tyb, and Sir John 73 

And therewith I trust we shall make good 

John. By Cock's body that is very happy. 

Tyb. But wotest who gave it? 

John. What the devil reck I? [then 

Tyb. By my faith, and I shall say true, 
The Devil take me, and it were not Sir John. 

John. O hold thy peace, wife, and swear no 

But I beshrew both your hearts therefore [tion 

Tyb. Yet peradventure, thou hast suspec- 
Of that was never thought nor done. 

John. Tush, wife, let all such matters be, 
I love thee well, though thou love not me : 
But this pie doth now catch harm, 
Let us set it upon the hearth to warm. 

Tyb. Then let us eat it as fast as we can. 
But because Sir John is so honest a man, 
I would that he should thereof eat his part. 

John. That were reason, I thee ensure. 

Tyb. Then, since that it is thy pleasure, 
I pray thee then go to him right, 
And pray him come sup with us to night. 

John [aside]. Shall he come hither? by 

Cock's soul I was a-curst 
When that I granted to that word first ! 
But since I have said it, I dare not say nay, ^ 
For then my wife and I should make a fray ; 
But when he is come, I swear by God's mother, 
I would give the devil the tone to carry away 

Tyb. What sayst? [the tother. 

John. Marry, he is my curate, I say, 
My confessor and my friend alway, 
Therefore go thou and seek him by and by, 
And till thou come again, I will keep the pie. 

Tyb. Shall I go for him? nay, I shrew me 
then ! 

74 John, Tyb, and Sir John 

Go thou, and seek, as fast as thou can, 
And tell him it. 

John. Shall I do so? 
In faith, it is not meet for me to go. 

Tyb. But thou shalt go tell him, for all that. 

John. Then shall I tell him, wotest [thouj 


That thou desirest him to come make some 
cheer. [sup here. 

Tyb. Nay, that thou desirest him to come 

John. Nay, by the rood, wife, thou shalt 

have the worship 
And the thanks of thy guest, that is thy gossip. 

Tyb [aside]. Full oft I see my husband will 

me rate, 
For this hither coming of our gentle curate. 

John. What sayst, Tyb? let me hear that 

Tyb. Marry, I perceive very plain [again. 
That thou hast Sir John somewhat in suspect; 
But by my soul, as far as I conject, 
He is virtuous and full of charity. 

John [aside]. In faith, all the town knoweth 

better, that he 

Is a whoremonger, a haunter of the stews, 
An hypocrite, a knave, that all men refuse ; 
A Her, a wretch, a maker of strife, [wife. 

Better than they know that thou art my good 

Tyb. What is that, that thou hast said ? 

John. Marry, I would have the table set and 
In this place or that, I care not whither, [laid, 

Tyb. Then go to, bring the trestles hither. 
Abide a while, let me put off my gown ! 
But yet I am afraid to lay it down, 
For I fear it shall be soon stolen. [stolen. 

John. And yet it may lie safe enough un- 

Tyb. It may lie well here, and I list, 

John, Tyb, and Sir John 75 

But, by Cock's soul, here hath a dog pist ; 
And if I should lay it on the hearth bare, 
It might hap to be burned, or I were ware, 
Therefore I pray you [probably turning to one 

of the audience], take ye the pain 
To keep my gown till I come again. 

But yet he shall not have it, by my fay, 
He is so near the door, he might run away ; 
But because that ye [another in the audience] 

be trusty and sure 

Ye shall keep it, and it be your pleasure ; 
And because it is arrayed at the skirt, 
While ye do nothing, scrape of the dirt. 

John. Lo, now am I ready to go to Sir John, 
And bid him come as fast as he can. 

Tyb. Yea, do so without any tarrying. 
But I say, hark ! thou hast forgot one thing ; 
Set up the table, and that by and by. 
Now go thy ways. 

John. I go shortly; 
But see your candlesticks be not out of the way. 

Tyb. Come again, and lay the table I say ; 
What ! me thinks, ye have soon done ! 

John. Now I pray God that his malediction 
Light on my wife, and on the bald priest. 

Tyb. Now go thy ways and hie thee ! seest ? 

John. I pray to Christ, if my wish be no 

sin, [comes in. 

That the priest may break his neck, when he 

Tyb. Now come again. 

John. What a mischief wilt thou, fool ! 

Tyb. Marry, I say, bring hither yonder 

John. Now go to, a little would make me 
For to say thus, a vengeance take thee ! 

Tyb. Now go to him, and tell him plain, 

76 John, Tyb, and Sir John 

That till thou bring him, thou wilt not come 
again. [stand. 

John. This pie both burn here as it doth 

Tyb. Go, wash me these two cups in my 
hand. [face ! 

John. I go, with a mischief light on thy 

Tyb. Go, and bid him hie him apace, 
And the while I shall all things amend. 

John. This pie burneth here at this end. 
Understandest thou? 

Tyb. Go thy ways, I say. 

John. 1 will go now, as fast as I may. 

Tyb. How, come once again : I had forgot ; 
Look, and there be any ale in the pot. 

John. Now a vengeance and a very mischief 
Light on the peel'd priest, and on my wife, 
On the pot, the ale, and on the table, 
The candle, the pie, and all the rabble, 
On the trestles, and on the stool; 
It is much ado to please a curst fool. 

Tyb. Go thy ways now, and tarry no more, 
For I am a hungered very sore. 

John. Marry, I go. 

Tyb. But come once again yet ; 
Bring hither that bread, lest I forget it. 

John. I-wis it were time for to turn 
The pie, for I-wis it doth burn. [patter, 

Tyb. Lord ! how my husband now doth 
And of the pie still doth clatter. 
Go now, and bid him come away ; 
I have bid thee an hundred times to-day. 

John. I will not give a straw, I tell you 
If that the pie wax could again. [plain, 

Tyb. What ! art thou not gone yet out of 

this place? [space : 

I had went thou hadst been come again in the 

John, Tyb, and Sir John 77 

But, by Cock's soul, and I should do the right, 
I should break thy knave's head to-night. 

John. Nay, then if my wife be set a chiding, 
It is time for me to go at her bidding. 
There is a proverb, which true now proveth, 
He must needs go that the devil driveth. 

[Exit to the house of the priest. 
How master curate, may I come in 
At your chamber door, without any sin. 

Sir John the Priest. Who is there now that 

would have me ? 
What ! John John ! what news with thee? 

John. Marry, Sir, to tell you shortly, 
My wife and I pray you heartily, 
And eke desire you with all our might, 
That ye would come and sup with us to-night. 

Sir J. Ye must pardon me, in faith I ne 

John. Yes, I desire you, good Sir John, 
Take pain this once ; and, yet at the least, 
If ye will do nought at my request, 
Yet do somewhat for the love of my wife. v 

Sir J. I will not go, for making of strife. 
But I shall tell thee what thou shalt do, 
Thou shalt tarry and sup with me, or thou go. 

John. Will ye not go then ? why so ? 
I pray you tell me, is there any disdain, 
Or any enmity, between you twain? [me, 

Sir J. In faith to tell thee, between thee and 
She is as wise a woman as any may be ; 
I know it well ; for I have had the charge 
Of her soul, and searched her conscience at 


I never knew her but honest and wise, 
Without any evil, or any vice, 
Save on fault, I know in her no more, 

78 John, Tyb, and Sir John 

And because I rebuke her, now and then, there 

She is angry with me, and hath me in hate ; 

And yet that that I do, I do it for your wealth. 

John. Now God yield it you, good master 

And as ye do, so send you your health, [curate, 

Ywys I am bound to you a pleasure. [ture, 

Sir J. Yet thou thinkest amiss, peradven- 

That of her body she should not be a good 


But I shall tell thee what I have done, John, 
For that matter ; she and I be sometime aloft, 
And I do lie upon her, many a time and oft, 
To prove her, yet could I never espy 
That ever any did worse with her than I. [nine, 
John. Sir, that is the least care I have of 
Thanked be God, and your good doctrine; 
But if it please you, tell me the matter, 
And the debate between you and her. [secret. 
Sir J. I shall tell thee, but thou must keep 
John. As for that, Sir, I shall not let. 
Sir J. I shall tell thee now the matter 


She is angry with me and hath me in disdain 
Because that I do her oft entice 
To do some penance, after mine advice, 
Because she will never leave her wrawlyng, 
But alway with thee she is chiding and brawl 

And therefore I know, she hateth [my] pre 
sence, [ence. 
John. Nay, in good faith, saving your rever- 
Sir J. I know very well, she hath me in hate. 
John. Nay, I dare swear for her, master 
side] But, was I not a very knave? [curate: 
thought surely, so God me save, 

John, Tyb, and Sir John 79 

That he had loved my wife, for to deceive me, 
And now he quitteth himself; and here I see 
He doth as much as he may, for his life, 
To styn[te] the debate between me and my 
wife. [ill, 

Sir ]. If ever she did, or though[t] me any 
Now I forgive her with m[y] free will ; 
Therefore, John John, now get thee home 
And thank thy wife, and say I will not come. 

John. Yet, let me know, now, good Sir 
Where ye will go to supper then. [John, 

Sir ]. I care not greatly and I tell thee. 
On Saturday last, I and two or three 
Of my friends made an appointment, 
And against this night we did assent 
That in a place we would sup together; 
And one of them said, [s]he would bring thither 
Ale and bread; and for my part, I 
Said, that I would give them a pie, 
And there I gave them money for the making ; 
And another said, she would pay for the bak- 
And so we purpose to make good cheer [ing ; 
For to drive away care and thought. 

John. Then I pray you, Sir, tell me here, 
Whither should all this gear be brought ? 

Sir J. By my faith, and I should not lie, 
It should be delivered to thy wife, the pie. 

John. By God ! it is at my house, standing 
by the fire. [quire. 

Sir J. Who bespake that pie? I thee re- 

John. By my faith, and I shall not lie, 
It was my wife, and her gossip Margerie, 
And your good masship, called Sir John, 
And my neighbour's youngest daughter Anne ; 
Your masship paid for the stuff and making, 
And Margery she paid for the baking. 

8o John, Tyb, and Sir John 

Sir J. If thou wilt have me now, in faith I 
will go. [do so, 

John. Yea, marry, I beseech your masship 
My wife tarrieth for none but us twain ; 
She thinketh long or I come again, [presence, 

Sir }. Well now, if she chide me in thy 
I will be content, and take [it] in patience. 

John. By Cock's soul, and she once chide, 
Or frown, or lour, or look aside, [heave, 

I shall bring you a staif as much as I may 
Then beat her and spare not; I give you good 
To chastise her for her shrewd varying, [leave 
[They return to John's house. 

Tyb. The devil take thee for thy long tarry- 
Here is not a whit of water, by my gown, [ing ! 
To wash our hands that we might sit down ; 
Go and hie thee, as fast as a snail, 
And with fair water fill me this pail. 

John. I thank our Lord of his good grace 
That I cannot rest long in a place. 

Tyb. Go, fetch water, I say, at a word, 
For it is time the pie were on the board ; 
And go with a vengeance, and say thou art 

Sir J. Ah ! good gossip ! is that well said ? 

Tyb. Welcome, mine own sweetheart, 
We shall make some cheer or we depart. 

John. Cock's soul, look how he approach- 

eth near 
Unto my wife : this abateth my cheer. [Exit. 

Sir J. By God, I would ye had heard the 


The toys, the mocks, the fables, and the nifties, 
That I made thy husband to believe and think ! 
Thou mightest as well into the earth sink, 
As thou couldst forbear laughing any while. 

John, Tyb, and Sir John 81 

Tyb. I pray thee let me hear part of that 
wile. [can. 

Sir J. Marry, I shall tell thee as fast as I 
But peace, no more yonder cometh thy good 
man. [Re-enter John. 

John. Cock's soul, what have we here? 
As far as I saw, he drew very near 
Unto my wife. 

Tyb. What, art come so soon? 
Give us water to wash now have done. 

[Then he bringeth the pail empty. 

John. By Cock's soul, it was, even now, 

full to the brink, 

But it was out again or I could think ; 
Whereof I marvelled, by God Almight, 
And then I looked between me and the light 
And I spied a clift, both large and wide. 
Lo, wife ! here it is on the tone side. 

Tyb. Why dost not stop it? 

John. Why, how shall I do it? 

Tyb. Take a little wax. 

John. How shall I come to it? [say, 

Sir J. Marry, here be two wax candles, I 
Which my gossip Margery gave me yesterday. 

Tyb. Tush, let him alone, for, by the rood, 
It is pity to help him, or do him good. 

Sir J. What ! John John, canst thou make 

no shift? 
Take this wax, and stop therewith the clift. 

John. This wax is as hard as any wire. 

Tyb. Thou must chafe it a little at the fire. 

John. She that bought thee these wax 

candles twain, 
She is a good companion certain. 

Tyb. What, was it not my gossip Margery? 

Sir J. Yes, she is a blessed woman surely. 


82 John, Tyb, and Sir John 

Tyb. Now would God I were as good as 
For she is virtuous, and full of charity. [she, 

John [aside]. Now, so God help me; and by 

my holydom, [Rome. 

She is the errantest baud between this and 

Tyb. What sayst? 

John. Marry, I chafe the wax, 
And I chafe it so hard that my fingers cracks. 
But take up this pie that I here turn; 
And it stand long-, i-wis it will burn. [say. 

Tyb. Yea, but thou must chafe the wax, I 

John. Bid him sit down, I thee pray 
Sit down, good Sir John, I you require, [fire, 

Tyb. Go, I say, and chafe the wax by the 
While that we sup, Sir John and I. [the pie? 

John. And how now, what will ye do with 
Shall I not eat thereof a morsel? [well, 

Tyb. Go and chafe the wax while thou art 
And let us have no more prating thus. 

Sir J. Benedicite. 

John. Dominus. 

Tyb. Now go chafe the wax, with a mis 
chief, [sweet wife ! 

John. What ! I come to bless the board, 
It is my custom now and then. 
Much good do it you, Master Sir John. 

Tyb. Go chafe the wax, and here no longer 
tarry. [gatory 

John [aside]. And is not this a very pur- 
To see folks eat, and may not eat a bit? 
By Cock's soul, I am a very woodcock. 
This pail here, now a vengeance take it ! 
Now my wife giveth me a proud mock ! 

Tyb. What dost? 

John. Marry, I chafe the wax here, 
And I imagine to make you good cheer, 

John, Tyb, and Sir John 83 

That a vengeance take you both as 
For I know well I shall not eat a bit. [ye sit, 
But yet, in faith, if I might eat one morsel, 
I would think the matter went very well. 

Sir J. Gossip, John John, now much good 

do it you. 
What cheer make you, there by the fire? 

John. Master parson, I thank you now ; 
I fare well enow after mine own desire. 

Sir J. What dost, John John, I thee re 

John. I chafe the wax here by the fire. 

Tyb. Here is good drink, and here is a 
good pie. 

Sir J. We fare very well, thanked be our 
lady. [wax that is hard, 

Tyb. Look how the cuckold chafeth the 
And for his life, dareth not look hitherward. 

Sir J. What doth my gossip? 

John. I chafe the wax [cracks ; 

[v4si<2e.] And I chafe it so hard that my fingers 
And eke the smoke putteth out my eyes two : 
I burn my face, and ray my clothes also, 
And yet I dare not say one word, 
And they sit laughing yonder at the board. 

Tyb. Now, by my troth, it is a pretty jape, 
For a wife to make her husband her ape. 
Look of John John, which maketh hard shift 
To chafe the wax, to stop therewith the clift. 

John [aside]. Yea, that a vengeance take ye 

both two, 

Both him and thee, and thee and him also ; 
And that ye may choke with the same meat 
At the first morsel that ye do eat. 

Tyb. Of what thing now dost thou clatter, 
John John? or whereof dost thou patter? 

G 2 

84 John, Tyb, and Sir John 

John. I chafe the wax, and make hard shift 
To stop herewith of the pail the rift. 

Sir J. So must he do, John John, by my 

father kin, 
That is bound of wedlock in the yoke. 

John [aside]. Look how the peel'd priest 

crammeth in; 
That would to God he might therewith choke. 

Tyb. Now, Master Parson, pleaseth your 


To tell us some tale of mirth or sadness, 
For our pastime, in way of communication. 

Sir J. I am content to do it for our recrea- 
And of three miracles I shall to you say. [tion, 

John. What, must I chafe the wax all day, 
And stand here, roasting by the fire? [desire ! 

Sir J. Thou must do somewhat at thy wife's 
I know a man which wedded had a wife, 
As fair a woman as ever bare life, 
And within a sennight after, right soon 
He went beyond sea, and left her alone, 
And tarried there about a seven year ; [cheer, 
And as he came homeward he had a heavy 
For it was told him that she was in heaven. 
But, when that he comen home again was, 
He found his wife, and with her children seven, 
Which she had had in the mean space ; 
Yet had she not had so many by three 
If she had not had the help of me. 
Is not this a miracle, if ever were any, [many 
That this good wife should have children so 
Here in this town, while her husband should be 
Beyond the sea, in a far country. 

John. Now, in good sooth, this is a won- 

derous miracle, 
But for your labour, I would that your tackle 

John, Tyb, and Sir John 85 

Were in a scalding water well sod. [God. 

Tyb. Peace, I say, thou lettest the word of 

Sir ]. Another miracle eke I shall you say, 
Of a woman, which that many a day 
Had been wedded, and in all that season 
She had no child, nother daughter nor son ; 
Wherefore to Saint Modwin she went on pil 

And offered there a live pig, as is the usage 
Of the wives that in London dwell ; 
And through the virtue thereof, truly to tell, 
Within a month after, right shortly, 
She was delivered of a child as much as I. 
How say you, is not this miracle wonderous? 

John* Yes, in good sooth, sir, it is marvel- 
But surely, after mine opinion, [lous ; 
That child was nother daughter nor son. 
For certainly, and I be not beguiled, 
She was delivered of a knave child. 

Tyb. Peace, I say, for God's passion, 
Thou lettest Sir John's communication. 

Sir J. The third miracle also is this : 
I knew another woman eke y-wys, [after 

Which was wedded, and within five months 
She was delivered of a fair daughter, 
As well formed in every member and joint, 
And as perfect in every point [th' end. 

As though she had gone five months full to 
Lo ! here is five months of advantage, [mend ; 

John. A wonderous miracle ! so God me 
I would each wife that is bound in marriage, 
And that is wedded here within this place, 
Might have as quick speed in every such case. 

Tyb. Forsooth, Sir John, yet for all that 
I have seen the day that puss, my cat, 
Hath had in a year kittlins eighteen. 

86 John, Tyb, and Sir John 

John. Yea, Tyb, my wife, and that have I 
seen. [pie ? 

But how say you, Sir John, was it good, your 
The devil the morsel that thereof eat I. 
By the good lord this is a piteous work 
But now I see well the old proverb is true : 
That parish priest forgetteth that ever he was 
But, Sir John, doth not remember you [clerk ! 
How I was your clerk, and holpe you mass to 


And held the basin alway at the offering? 
He never had half so good a clerk as I ! 
But, notwithstanding all this, now our pie 
Is eaten up, there is not left a bit, 
And you two together there do sit, 
Eating and drinking at your own desire, 
And I am John John, which must stand by the 

Chafing the wax, and dare none other wise do. 

Sir ]. And shall we alway sit here still, we 
That were too much. [two? 

Tyb. Then rise we out of this place. 

Sir J. And kiss me then in the stead of 

grace ; 
And farewell leman and my love so dear. 

John. Cock's body, this wax it waxeth cold 

again here; 

But what ! shall I anon go to bed, 
And eat nothing, nother meat nor bread? 
I have not be wont to have such fare. [are, 

Tyb. Why ! were ye not served there as ye 
Chafing the wax, standing by the fire? 

John. Why, what meat gave ye me, I you 
require? [heartily, 

Sir J. Wast thou not served, I pray thee 
Both with the bread, the ale, and the pie? 

John, Tyb, and Sir John 87 

John. No, sir, I had none of that fare. 

Tyb. Why ! were ye not served there as ye 
Standing by the fire chafing the wax ? [are, 

John. Lo, here be many trifles and knacks 

By Cock's soul, they ween I am other drunk or 

mad. [had? 

Tyb. And had ye no meat, John John? no 

John. No, Tyb my wife, I had not a whit. 

Tyb. What, not a morsel? 

John. No, not one bit; 
For hunger, I trow, I shall fall in a sowne. 

Sir J. O, that were pity, I swear by my 

Tyb. But is it true? [crown. 

John. Yea, for a surety. 

Tyb. Dost thou lie? 

John. No, so mote I thee ! 

Tyb. Hast thou had nothing? 

John. No, not a bit. 

Tyb. Hast thou not drunk? 

John. No, not a whit. 

Tyb. Where wast thou? 

John. By the fire I did stand. 

Tyb. What didst? 

John. I chafed this wax in my hand, 
Whereas I knew of wedded men the pain 
That they have, and yet dare not complain ; 
For the smoke put out my eyes two, 
I burned my face, and rayed my clothes also, 
Mending the pail, which is so rotten and old, 
That it will not skant together hold ; 
And sith it is so, and since that ye twain 
Would give me no meat for my sufficiance, 
By Cock's soul I will take no longer pain, 
Ye shall do all yourself, with a very vengeance, 
For me, and take thou there thy pail now, 
And if thou canst mend it, let me see how. 

88 John, Tyb, and Sir John 

Tyb. A ! whoreson's knave ! hast thou 

broke my pail? 

Thou shalt repent, by Cock's lylly nail. 
Reach me my distaff, or my clipping shears : 
I shall make the blood run about his ears. 
John. Nay, stand still, drab, I say, and 

come no near, 

For by Cock's blood, if thou come here, 
Or if thou once stir toward this place, [face. 
I shall throw this shovel full of coals in thy 
Tyb. Yea ! whoreson drivel ! get thee out 
of my door. [priest's whore. 

John. Nay ! get thou out of my house, thou 
Sir J. Thou liest, whoreson cuckold, even 
to thy face. [evil grace. 

John. And thou liest, peel'd priest, with an 
Tyb. And thou liest. 
John. And thou liest, Sir. 
Sir J. And thou liest again. 
John. By Cock's soul, whoreson priest, 

thou shalt be slain ; 

Thou hast eat our pie, and give me nought, 
By Cock's blood, it shall be full dearly bought. 
Tyb. At him, Sir John, or else God give 
thee sorrow. [Saint George to borrow. 

fohn. And have at your whore and thief, 
Here they fight by the ears a while, and then 
the priest and the wife go out of the place. 
John. A ! sirs ! I have paid some of them 

even as I list, 

They have borne many a blow with my fist, 
I thank God, I have walked them well, 
And driven them hence. But yet, can ye tell 
Whither they be gone? for by God, I fear me, 
That they be gone together, he and she, 
Unto his chamber, and perhaps she will, 

John, Tyb, and Sir John 89 

Spite of my heart, tarry there still, 
And, peradventure, there, he and she 
Will make me cuckold, even to anger me; 
And then had I a pig in the worse panyer, 
Therefore, by God, I will hie me thither 
To see if they do me any villainy : 
And thus fare well this noble company. 


Imprinted by Wyllyam Rastell 

the xii day of February 

the yere of our Lord 

MCCCC and xxxm 

Cum privilegio 

flic Defter* 

ane* & 

Title-page o] the Copy now in Ihc Bodleian : 
si'f Note-Bool;.] 





Jupiter. Right far too long, as now, were 

to recite [reigned, 

The ancient estate wherein our self hath 
What honour, what laud, given us of very 


What glory we have had, duly unfeigned, 
Of each creature, which duty hath constrained ; 
For above all gods, since our father's fall, 
We, Jupiter, were ever principal. 
If ye so have been, as truth it is indeed, 
Beyond the compass of all comparison, 
Who could presume to show, for any meed, 
So that it might appear to human reason, 
The high renown we stand in at this season ? 
For, since that heaven and earth were first 


Stood we never in such triumphant estate 
As we now do, whereof we will report 
Such part as we see meet for time present, 
Chiefly concerning your perpetual comfort, 
As the thing self shall prove in experiment, 
Which highly shall bind you, on knees lowly 


Solely to honour our highness, day by day. 

94 The Play of the Weather 

And now to the matter give ear, and we shall 


Before our presence, in our high parliament, 
Both gods and goddesses of all degrees 
Hath late assembled, by common assent, 
For the redress of certain enormities, 
Bred among them, through extremities 
Abused in each to other of them all, 
Namely, to purpose, in these most special : 
Our foresaid father Saturn, and Phebus, 
Eolus and Phebe, these four by name, 
Whose natures, not only, so far contrarious, 
But also of malice each other to defame, 
Have long time abused, right far out of frame, 
The due course of all their constellations, 
To the great damage of all earthly nations : 
Which was debated in place said before; 
And first, as became, our father most ancient, 
With beard white as snow, his locks both cold 

and hoar, 

Hath entered such matter as served his intent, 
Lauding his frosty mansion in the firmament, 
To air and earth as thing most precious, 
Purging all humours that are contagious. 
Howbeit, he allegeth that, of long time past, 
Little hath prevailed his great diligence, 
Full oft upon earth his fair frost he hath cast, 
All things hurtful to banish out of presence. 
But Phebus, intending to keep him in silence, 
When he hath laboured all night in his powers, 
His glaring beams marreth all in two hours. 
Phebus to this made no manner answering, 
Whereupon they both then Phebe defied, 
Each for his part laid in her reproving [tried ; 
That by her showers superfluous they have 
In all that she may their powers be denied ; 
Whereunto Phebe made answer no more 

The Play of the Weather 95 

Than Phebus to Saturn had made before. 
Anon upon Eolus all these did flee, 
Complaining 1 their causes, each one a-row, 
And said, to compare, none was so evil as he ; 
For, when he is disposed his blasts to blow, 
He suffereth neither sunshine, rain nor snow. 
They each against other, and he against all 


Thus can these four in no manner agree ! [ing, 
Which seen in themself, and further consider- 
The same to redress was cause of their as- 
And, also, that we, evermore being, [semble; 
Beside our puissant power of deity, 
Of wisdom and nature so noble and so free, 
From all extremities the mean dividing, 
To peace and plenty each thing attempering, 
They have, in conclusion, wholly surrendered 
Into our hands, at much as concerning 
All manner weathers by them engendered, 
The full of their powers, for term everlasting, 
To set such order as standeth with our pleas 

Which thing, as of our part, no part required, 
But of all their parts right humbly desired, 
To take upon us. Whereto we did assent. 
And so in all things, with one voice agreeable, 
We have clearly finished our foresaid parlia 
ment, [stable, 
To your great wealth, which shall be firm and 
And to our honour far inestimable ; 
For since their powers, as ours, added to our 
own, [known? 
Who can, we say, know us as we should be 
But now, for fine, the rest of our intent, 
Wherefore, as now, we hither are descended, 
Is only to satisfy and content 

96 The Play of the Weather 

All manner people which have been offended 
By any weather meet to be amended, 
Upon whose complaints, declaring their grief, 
We shall shape remedy for their relief. 

And to give knowledge for their hither resort 
We would this afore proclaimed to be, 
To all our people, by some one of this sort 

[one of the audience], 

Whom we list to choose here amongst all ye. 
Wherefore each man advance, and we shall see 
Which of you is most meet to be our cryer. 

[Here entereth Merry Report. 
Merry Report. Brother [to attendant], hold 

up your torch a little higher ! 

Now, I beseech you, my lord, look on me first. 

I trust your lordship shall not find me the 

worst. [proachest so nigh? 

Jupiter. Why ! what art thou that ap- 

Merry Report. Forsooth, and please your 

lordship, it is I. [what I ? 

Jupiter. All that we know very well, But 

Merry Report. What I ? Some say I am I 

But, what manner I so ever be I, [per se I. 

I assure your good lordship, I am I. 

Jupiter. What manner man art thou, show 

quickly. [dwelleth hereby. 

Merry Report. By god, a poor gentleman, 

Jupiter. A gentleman ! Thyself bringeth 

witness nay, 

Both in thy light behaviour and array. 
But what art thou called where thou dost 
resort? [Merry Report. 

Merry Report. Forsooth, my lord, master 
Jupiter. Thou art no meet man in our busi 
For thine appearance is of too much lightness. 

The Play of the Weather 97 

Merry Report. Why, cannot your lordship 

like my manner 
Mine apparel, nor my name nother? 

Jupiter. To nother of all we have devotion. 

Merry Report. A proper likelihood of pro- 
Well, then, as wise as ye seem to be, [motion ! 
Yet can ye see no wisdom in me. 
But since ye dispraise me for so light an elf, 
I pray you give me leave to praise myself : 
And, for the first part, I will begin 
In my behaviour at my coming in, 
Wherein I think I have little offended, 
For, sure, my courtesy could not be amended ; 
And, as for my suit your servant to be, 
Might ill have been missed for your honesty ; 
For, as I be saved, if I shall not lie, 
I saw no man sue for the office but I ! 
Wherefore if ye take me not or I go, 
Ye must anon, whether ye will or no. 
And since your intent is but for the weathers, 
What skills our apparel to be frieze or 

feathers ? 

I think it wisdom, since no man forbade it, 
With this to spare a better if I had it ! 
And, for my name, reporting alway truly, 
What hurt to report a sad matter merrily? I 
As, by occasion, for the same intent, 
To a certain widow this day was I sent, 
Whose husband departed without her witting, 
A special good lover and she his own sweeting ! 
To whom, at my coming, I cast such a figure, 
Mingling the matter according to my nature, 
That when we departed, above all other things, 
She thanked me heartily for my merry tidings ! 
And if I had not handled it merrily, 
Perchance she might have taken it heavily ; 

9 8 The Play of the Weather 

But in such fashion I conjured and bound her, 
That I left her merrier than I found her ! [fort 
What man may compare to show the like corn- 
That daily is showed by me, Merry Report ? 
And, for your purpose, at this time meant, 
For all weathers I am so indifferent, 
Without affection, standing so upright, 
Sunlight, moonlight, starlight, twilight, torch 
light, [lightning, thunder, 
Cold, heat, moist, dry, hail, rain, frost, snow, 
Cloudy, misty, windy, fair, foul, above head or 


Temperate or distemperate, whatever it be, 
I promise your lordship, all is one to me. 
Jupiter. Well, son, considering thine in- 


And partly the rest of thy declaration, 
We make thee our servant and immediately 
Well will thou depart and cause proclamation, 
Publishing our pleasure to every nation, 
Which thing once done, with all diligence, 
Make thy return again to this presence, 
Here to receive all suitors of each degree; 
And such as to thee may seem most meetly, 
We will thou bring them before our majesty, 
And for the rest, that be not so worthy, 
Make thou report to us effectually, 
So that we may hear each manner suit at large. 
Thus see thou depart and look upon thy 
charge ! [lady be with ye ! 

Merry Report. Now, good my lord god, our 
Friends, a fellowship, let me go by ye ! 
Think ye I may stand thrusting among you 


Nay, by god, I must thrust about other gear ! 
[Merry Report goeth out. At the end of this 

The Play of the Weather 99 

stave the god hath a song played in his 

throne or Merry Report come in. 
Jupiter. Now, since we have thus far set 

forth our purpose, 

A while we will withdraw our godly presence, 
To embold all such more plainly to disclose, 
As here will attend, in our foresaid pretence. 
And now, according to your obedience, 
Rejoice ye in us with joy most joyfully, 
And we ourself shall joy in our own glory ! 
[Jupiter here shut out from view. Merry 

Report cometh in. 
Merry Report. Now, sirs, take heed ! for 

here cometh god's servant! 
A vaunt ! carte[r]ly caitiffs, avaunt ! 
Why, ye drunken whoresons, will it not be? 
By your faith, have ye nother cap nor knee? 
Not one of you that will make curtesy 
To me, that am squire for god's precious body? 
Regard ye nothing mine authority? 
No welcome home ! nor where have ye be ? 
Howbeit, if ye axed, I could not well tell, 
But sure I think a thousand mile from hell, 
And on my faith, I think, in my conscience, 
I have been from Heaven as far as heaven is 


At Louvain, at London and in Lombardy, 
At Baldock, at Barfold, and in Barbary, 
At Canterbury, at Coventry, at Colchester, 
At Wandsworth and Welbeck, at Westchester, 
At Fulham, at Faleborne, and at Fenlow, 
At Wallingford, at Wakefield, and at Wal- 


At Taunton, at Tiptree and at Tottenham, 
At Gloucester, at Guildford and at Gotham, 

H 2 

ioo The Play of the Weather 

At Hertford, at Harwich, at Harrow-on-the 


At Sudbury, Southampton, at Shooter's Hill, 
At Walsingham, at Witham, and at Warwick, 
At Boston, at Bristow and at Berwick, 
At Gravelyn, at Gravesend, and at Glaston- 

bury, [bury. 

Ynge Gyngiang Jayberd the parish of Buts- 
The devil himself, without more leisure, 
Could not have gone half thus much, I am 

sure ! [choose ; 

But, now I have warned them, let them even 
For, in faith, I care not who win or lose. 
[Here the gentleman before he cometh in 

bloweth his horn. 
Merry Report. Now, by my troth, this was 

a goodly hearing. 

I went it had been the gentlewoman's blowing ! 
But it is not so, as I now suppose, 
For women's horns sound more in a man's 

nose. [everyone. 

Gentleman. Stand ye merry, my friends, 
Merry Report. Say that to me and let the 

rest alone ! 
Sir, ye be welcome, and all your meyny. 

Gentleman. Now, in good sooth, my friend, 

god a mercy ! 

And since that I meet thee here thus by chance, 
I shall require thee of further acquaintance, 
And briefly to show thee, this is the matter. 
I come to sue to the great god Jupiter 
For help of things concerning my recreation, 
According to his late proclamation. 

Merry Report. Marry, and I am he that this 

must speed. 
But first tell me what be ye indeed. 

The Play of the Weather 101 

Gentleman. Forsooth, good friend, I am a 

gentleman. [saint Anne ! 

Merry Report. A C' rrt ?JlZ OTru pfrfi o n } by 

On my faith, your maship hath a merry life. 

But who maketh all these horns, yourself or 

your wife? 

Nay, even in earnest, I ask you this question. 
Gentleman. Now, by my troth, thou art a 
merry one. [never one sad, 

Merry Report. In faith, of us both I think 
For I am not so merry but ye seem as mad ! 
But stand ye still and take a little pain, 
I will come to you, by and by, again. 
Now, gracious god, if your will so be, 
I pray ye, let me speak a word with ye 

Jupiter. My son, say on ! Let us hear thy 
mind [suitor even here behind, 

Merry Report. My lord, there standeth a 
A Gentleman, in yonder corner, 
And, as I think, his name is Master Horner 
A hunter he is, and cometh to make you sport. 
He would hunt a sow or twain out of this sort. 

[Here he pointeth to the women. 
Jupiter. Whatsoever his mind be, let him 

Merry Report. Now, good master Horner, 

I pray you come near. 

Gentleman. I am no horner, knave ! I will 
thou know it, [when ye did blow it, 

Merry Report. I thought ye had [been], for 
Heard I never whoreson make horn so go. 
As lief ye kist mine arse as blow my hole so ! 
Come on your way, before the God Jupiter, 
And there for yourself ye shall be suitor. 

Gentleman. Most mighty prince and god of 
every nation, 

102 The Play of the Weather 

Pleaseth your highness to vouchsafe the hear 
ing [tion, 
Of me, which, according to [y]our proclama- 
Doth make appearance, in way of beseeching, 
Not sole for myself, but generally 
For all come of noble and ancient stock, 
Which sort above all doth most thankfully 
Daily take pain for wealth of the common flock, 
With diligent study alway devising 
To keep them in order and unity, 
In peace to labour the increase of their living, 
W T hereby each man may prosper in plenty. 
Wherefore, good god, this is our whole desir 

That for ease of our pains, at times vacant, 
In our recreation, which chiefly is hunting, 
It may please you to send us weather pleasant, 
Dry and not misty, the wind calm and still. 
That after our hounds journeying so merrily, 
Chasing the deer over dale and hill, 
In hearing we may follow and to comfort the 
cry. [whole request, 

Jupiter. Right well we do perceive your 
Which shall not fail to rest in memory, 
Wherefore we will ye set yourself at rest, 
Till we have heard each man indifferently, 
And we shall take such order, universally, 
As best may stand to our honour infinite, 
For wealth in common and each man's singular 
profit. [be the name 

Gentleman. In heaven and earth honoured 
Of Jupiter, who of his godly goodness 
Hath set this matter in so goodly frame, [less. 
That every wight shall have his desire, doubt- 
And first for us nobles and gentlemen, 
I doubt not, in his wisdom, to provide 

The Play of the Weather 103 

Such weather as in our hunting, now and then, 

We may both teyse and receive on every side. 

Which thing, once had, for our said recreation, 

Shall greatly prevail you in preferring our 

health [tion, 

For what thing more needful than our preserva- 

Being the weal and heads of all common 

wealth? [whose head be you? 

Merry Report. Now I beseech your maship, 

Gentleman. Whose head am I ? Thy head. 
What sayst thou now ? [so god me help ! 

Merry Report. Nay, I think it very true, 
For I have ever been, of a little whelp, 
So full of fancies, and in so many fits, 
So many small reasons, and in so many wits, 
That, even as I stand, I pray God I be dead, 
If ever I thought them all meet for one head. 
But since I have one head more than I knew, 
Blame not my rejoicing, I love all things new. 
And sure it is a treasure of heads to have store : 
One feat can I now that I never could before. 

Gentleman. What is that? 

Merry Report. By god, since ye came 


I can set my head and my tail together. 
This head shall save money, by Saint Mary, 
From henceforth I will no 'pothecary; 
For at all times, when such things shall mister 
My new head shall give mine old tail a glister. 
And, after all this, then shall my head wait 
Upon my tail, and there stand at receipt. 
Sir, for the rest I will not now move you, 
But, if we live, ye shall smell how I love )'ou. 
And, sir, touching your suit here, depart, when 

it please you 
For be ye sure, as I can I will ease you. 

104 The Play of the Weather 

Gentleman. Then give me thy hand. That 

promise I take. 

And if for my sake any suit thou do make, 
I promise thy pain to be requited 
More largely than now shall be recited. 

Merry Report. Alas, my neck ! God's pity, 

where is my head? 

By Saint Eve, I fear me I shall be dead. 
And if I were, methink it were no wonder, 
Since my head and my body is so far asunder, 

[Entereth the Merchant. 
Master parson, now welcome by my life ! 
I pray you, how doth my mistress, your wife? 
Merchant. Sir, for the priesthood and wife 

that ye allege 

I see ye speak more of dotage than knowledge. 
But let pass, sir, I would to you be suitor 
To bring me, if ye can, before Jupiter. 

Merry Report. Yes, Marry, can I, and will 

do it indeed. [Goes to Jupiter. 

Tarry, and I shall make way for your speed. 
In faith, good lord, if it please your gracious 
godship, [ship, 

I must have a word or twain with your lord- 
Sir, yonder is another man in place, 
Who maketh great suit to speak with your 
grace. [by. 

Your pleasure once known, he cometh by and 
Jupiter. Bring him before our presence, son, 
hardly. [I not find ye? 

Merry Report. Why ! where be you ? shall 
Come away, I pray god, the devil blind ye ! 
Merchant. Most mighty prince and lord of 

lords all, 

Right humbly beseecheth your majesty 
Your merchantmen through the world all, 

The Play of the Weather 105 

That it may please you, of your benignity, 
In the daily danger of our goods and life, 
First to consider the desert of our request, 
What wealth we bring the rest, to our great 

care and strife, 

And then to reward us as ye shall think best. 
What were the surplusage of each commodity, 
Which groweth and increaseth in every land, 
Except exchange by such men as we be? 
By way of intercourse, that lieth on our hand 
We fraught from home, things whereof there 

is plenty ; [scant. 

And home we bring such things as there be 
Who should afore us merchants accompted be? 
For were not we, the world should wish and 


In many things, which now shall lack rehearsal. 
And, briefly to conclude, we beseech your high- 
That of the benefit proclaimed in general [ness 
We may be partakers, for common increase, 
'Stablishing weather thus, pleasing your grace, 
Stormy, nor misty, the wind measurable. 
That safely we may pass from place to place, 
Bearing our sails for speed most vailable ; 
And also the wind to change and to turn, 
East, West, North and South, as best may be 
In any one place not too long to sojourn, [set, 
For the length of our voyage may lose our 

Jupiter. Right well have ye said, and we 

accept it so, 

And so shall we reward you ere we go hence. 
But ye must take patience till we have heard 
That we may indifferently give sentence, [mo, 
There may pass by us no spot of negligence, 
But justly to judge each thing, so upright 

io6 The Play of the Weather 

That each man's part may shine in the self 

right. [ye should be sworn, 

Merry Report. Now, sir, by your faith, if 

Heard ye ever god speak so, since ye were 


So wisely, so gently his words be showed ! 
Merchant. I thank his grace. My suit is 

well bestowed. 
Merry Report. Sir, what voyage intend ye 

next to go? 

Merchant. I trust or mid-Lent to be to Scio. 
Merry Report. Ha, ha ! Is it your mind to 

sail at Scio? 

Nay, then, when ye will, byr lady, ye may go, 
And let me alone with this. Be of good cheer ! 
Ye may trust me at Scio as well as here. 
For though ye were fro me a thousand mile 


I would do as much as ye were here in place, 
For, since that from hence it is so far thither, 
I care not though ye never come again hither. 
Merchant. Sir, if ye remember me, when 

time shall come, 
Though I requite not all, I shall deserve some. 

[Exit Merchant. 

Merry Report. Now, fare ye well, and God 

thank you, by saint Anne, [man; 

I pray you, mark the fashion of this honest 

He putteth me in more trust, at this meeting 

Than he shall find cause why, this twenty year. 

[Here entereth the Ranger. 
Ranger. God be here, now Christ keep this 
company ! [very scantly ! 

Merry Report. In faith, ye be welcome, even 
Sir, for your coming what is the matter? 

The Play of the Weather 107 

Ranger. I would fain speak with the god 
Jupiter. [do this 

Merry Report. That will not be, but ye may 
Tell me your mind. I am an officer of his. 

Ranger. Be ye so? Marry, I cry you mercy. 
Your mastership may say I am homely. 
But since your mind is to have reported 
The cause wherefore I am now resorted, 
Pleaseth your mastership it is so. 
I come for myself and such other mo, 
Rangers and keepers of certain places, 
As forests, parks, purlieus and chases 
Where we be charged with all manner game. 
Small is our profit and great is our blame. 
Alas ! For our wages, what be we the near? 
What is forty shillings, or five mark, a year? 
Many times and oft, where we be flitting, 
We spend forty pence apiece at a sitting. 
Now for our vantage, which chiefly is windfall. 
That is right nought, there bloweth no wind at 


Which is the thing wherein we find most grief, 
And cause for my coming to sue for relief, 
That the god, of pity, all this thing knowing, 
May send us good rage of blustering and blow- 
And, if I cannot get god to do some good, [ing, 
I would hire the devil to run through the wood, 
The roots to turn up, the tops to bring under. 
A mischief upon them, and a wild thunder ! 

Merry Report. Very well said, I set by your 


As much, in a manner, as by your honesty. 
I shall set you somewhat in ease anon. 
Ye shall put on your cap, when I am gone. 
For, I see, ye care not who win or lose, 
So ye may find means to win your fees. 

io8 The Play of the Weather 

Ranger. Sir, as in that, ye speak as it 

please ye. 

But let me speak with the god, if it may be. 
I pray you, let me pass ye. 

Merry Report. Why, nay, sir ! By the 
mass, ye 

Ranger. Then will I leave you even as I 
found ye. [here hath bound ye. 

Merry Report. Go when ye will. No man 

[Here entereth the Water-miller and the 
Ranger goeth out. 

Water-miller. What the devil should skyl, 

though all the world were dumb, 
Since all our speaking we never be heard? 
We cry out for rain, the devil speed drop will 
We water-millers be nothing in regard, [come. 
No water have we to grind at any stint, 
The wind is so strong the rain cannot fall, 
Which keepeth our milldams as dry as a flint. 
We are undone, we grind nothing at all, 
The greater is the pity, as thinketh me. 
For what availeth to each man his corn, 
Till it be ground by such men as we be? 
There is the loss, if we be forborne. 
For, touching ourselves, we are but drudges, 
And very beggars save only our toll, 
Which is right small and yet many grudges 
For grist of a bushel to give a quart bowl. 
Yet, were not reparations, we might do well. 
Our millstones, our wheel with her cogs, and 

our trindle 

Our floodgate, our millpool, our water wheel, 
Our hopper, our extre, our iron spindle, 
In this and much more so great is our charge, 
That we would not reck though no water were, 
Save only it toucheth each man so large, 

The Play of the Weather 109 

And each for our neighbour Christ biddeth us 

care. [hither, 

Wherefore my conscience hath pricked me 
In this to sue, according to the cry, 
For plenty of rain to the god Jupiter 
To whose presence I will go even boldly. 

Merry Report. Sir, I doubt nothing your 
But I fear me ye lack capacity, [audacity, 

For, if ye were wise, ye might well espie, 
How rudely ye err from rules of courtesy. 
What ! ye come in reveling and reheating, 
Even as a knave might go to a bear-baiting ! 
Water-miller. All you bear record what 

favour I have ! 

Hark, how familiarly he calleth me knave ! 
Doubtless the gentleman is universal ! [call 
But mark this lesson, sir. You should never 
Your fellow knave, nor your brother whoreson ; 
For nought can ye get by it, when ye have 

done. [fellow to me, 

Merry Report. Thou art nother brother nor 
For I am God's servant, mayst thou not see? 
Would ye presume to speak with the great 


Nay, discretion and you be too far odd ! 
By'r lady, these knaves must be tied shorter. 
Sir, who let you in? Spake ye with the porter? 
Water-miller. Nay, by my troth, nor with 

no nother man. 

Yet I saw you well, when I first began. 
How be it, so help me god and holydam, 
I took you but for a knave, as I am. 
But, marry, now, since I know what ye be, 
I must and will obey your authority. 
And if I may not speak with Jupiter 
I beseech you be my solicitor. 

i io The Play of the Weather 

Merry Report. As in that, I will be your 
I perceive you be a water-miller, [well-wilier. 
And your whole desire, as I take the matter, 
Is plenty of rain for increase of water. 
The let whereof, ye affirm determinately, 
Is only the wind, your mortal enemy. [aloft, 

Water-miller. Truth it is, for it bloweth so 
We never have rain, or, at the most, not oft. 
Wherefore, I pray you, put the god in mind 
Clearly for ever to banish the wind. 

[Here entereth the Wind-miller. 

Wind-miller. How ! Is all the weather 

gone or I come? 

For the passion of God, help me to some. 
I am a wind-miller, as many mo be. 
No wretch in wretchedness so wretched as we ! 
The whole sort of my craft be all marred at 


The wind is so weak it stirreth not our stones, 
Nor scantly can shatter the shitten sail 
That hangeth shattering at a woman's tail. 
The rain never resteth, so long be the showers, 
From time of beginning till four-and-twenty 

hours ; 

And, end when it shall, at night or at noon, 
Another beginneth as soon as that is done. 
Such revel of rain ye know well enough, 
Destroyeth the wind, be it never so rough, 
Whereby, since our mills become to still stand 

Now may we wind-millers go even to hanging. 
A miller ! with a murrain and a mischief ! 
Who would be a miller ? As good be a thief ! 
Yet in time past, when grinding was plenty, 
Who were so like God's fellows as we? [meal. 
As fast as God made corn, we millers made 

The Play of the Weather in 

Which might be best forborn for common 


But let that gear pass, for I fear our pride 
Is cause of the care which God doth us provide. 
Wherefore I submit me, intending to see 
What comfort may come by humility. 
And, now, at this time, they said in the cry, 
The god is come down to shape remedy. 

Merry Report. No doubt, he is here, even 

in yonder throne. 

But in your matter he trusteth me alone, 
Wherein, I do perceive by your complaint, 
Oppression of rain doth make the wind so 


That ye wind-millers be clean cast away. [say. 
Wind-miller. If Jupiter help not, it is as ye 
But, in few words to tell you my mind round, 
Upon this condition I would be bound, 
Day by day to say our lady's psalter, 
That in this world were no drop of water, 
Nor never rain, but wind continual, 
Then should we wind-millers be lords over all. 
Merry Report. Come on and assay how you 

twain can agree 
A brother of yours, a miller as ye be ! 

Water-miller. By mean of our craft we may 

be brothers, 

But whilst we live shall we never be lovers. 
We be of one craft, but not of one kind, 
I live by water and he by the wind. 

[Here Merry Report goeth out. 
And, sir, as ye desire wind continual, 
So would I have rain evermore to fall, 
Which two in experience, right well ye see, 
Right selde, or never, together can be. 
For as long as the wind ruleth, it is plain, 

ii2 The Play of the Weather 

Twenty to one ye get no drop of rain ; 
And when the element is too far oppressed, 
Down cometh the rain and setteth the wind at 


By this, ye see, we cannot both obtain. 
For ye must lack wind, or I must lack rain. 
Wherefore I think good, before this audience, 
Each for ourself to say, or we go hence ; 
And whom is thought weakest, when we have 


Leave off his suit and content to be banished. 
Wind-miller. In faith, agreed ! but then, 

by your licence, 

Our mills for a time shall hang in suspense. 
Since water and wind is chiefly our suit, 
Which best may be spared we will first dispute. 
Wherefore to the sea my reason shall resort, 
Where ships by means of wind try from port to 


From land to land, in distance many a mile, 
Great is the passage and small is the while. 
So great is the profit, as to me doth seem, 
That no man's wisdom the wealth can esteem. 
And since the wind is conveyer of all 
Who but the wind should have thanks above 

all? [here to grow, 

Water-miller. Admit in this place a tree 
And thereat the wind in great rage to blow ; 
When it hath all blown, this is a clear case, 
The tree removeth no hair-breadth from his 

place. [could. 

No more would the ships, blow the best it 
Although it would blow down both mast and 
Except the ship flete upon the water [shroud, 
The wind can right nought do, a plain matter. 
Yet may ye on water, without any wind, 

The Play of the Weather 113 

Row forth your vessel where men will have her 
Nothing more rejoiceth the mariner, [synde. 
Than mean cooles of wind and plenty of water. 
For, commonly, the cause of every wreck 
Is excess of wind, where water doth lack. 
In rage of these storms the peril is such 
That better were no wind than so far too much. 
Wind-miller. Well, if my reason in this 

may not stand, 

I will forsake the sea and leap to land. 
In every church where God's service is, 
The organs bear brunt of half the quere, i-wys. 
Which causeth the sound, of water or wind? 
Moreover for wind this thing I find 
For the most part all manner minstrelsy, 
By wind they deliver their sound chiefly, 
Fill me a bagpipe of your water full, 
As sweetly shall it sound as it we stuffed with 

wool. [be at the full, 

Water-miller. On my faith I think the moon 
For frantic fancies be then most plentiful. 
Which are at the pride of their spring in your 

head [fled. 

[4suZe.] So far from our matter he is now 
As for the wind in any instrument, 
It is no parcel of our argument, 
We spake of wind that cometh naturally 
And that is wind forced artificially, 
Which is not to purpose. But, if it were, 
And water, indeed, right nought could do 


Yet I think organs no such commodity, 
Whereby the water should banished be, 
And as for your bagpipes, I take them as 

Your matter is all in fancies and trifles. 

H4 The Pla 7 of the Weather 

Wind-miller. By God, but ye shall not trifle 

me off so ! 

If these things serve not, I will rehearse mo. 
And now to mind there is one old proverb 

come, [ransom, 

One bushel of March dust is worth a king's 
What is a hundred thousand bushels worth 

then? [self, to no man. 

Water-miller. Not one mite, for the thing 
Wind-miller. Why shall wind everywhere 

thus be object ? 

Nay, in the highways he shall take effect, 
Where as the rain doth never good but hurt, 
For wind maketh but dust and water maketh 


Powder or syrup, sirs, which like ye best? 
Who liketh not the tone may lick up the rest. 
But, sure, whosoever hath assayed such sips, 
Had liever have dusty eyes than dirty lips. 
And it is said, since afore we were born, 
That drought doth never make dearth of corn. 
And well it is known, to the most fool here, 
How rain hath priced corn within this seven 

year. [little season. 

Water-miller. Sir, I pray thee, spare me a 
And I shall briefly conclude thee with reason. 
Put case one summer's day without wind to be, 
And rageous wind in winter days two or three, 
Much more shall dry that one calm day in 


Than shall those three windy days in winter. 
Whom shall we thank for this, when all is 

done? [sun. 

The thank to wind ? Nay ! Thank chiefly the 
And so for drought, if corn thereby increase, 
The sun doth comfort and ripe all doubtless, 

The Play of the Weather 115 

And oft the wind so layeth the corn, God wot, 

That never after can it ripe, but rot. 

If drought took place, as ye say, yet may ye 


Little helpeth the wind in this commodity. 
But, now, sir, I deny your principal. 
If drought ever were, it were impossible 
To have any grain, for, ere it can grow, 
Ye must plow your land, harrow and sow, 
Which will not be, except ye may have rain 
To temper the ground, and after again 
For springing and plumping all manner corn 
Yet must ye have water, or all is forlorn. 
If ye take water for no commodity 
Yet must ye take it for thing of necessity, 
For washing, for scouring, all filth cleansing, 
Where water lacketh what beastly being ! 
In brewing, in baking, in dressing of meat, 
If ye lack water, what could ye drink or eat? 
Without water could live neither man nor 


For water preserveth both most and least. 
For water could I say a thousand things mo, 
Saving as now the time will not serve so ; 
And as for that wind that you do sue for, 
Is good for your windmill and for no more. 
Sir, sith all this in experience is tried, 
I say this matter standeth clear on my side. 
Wind-miller. Well, since this will not 

serve, I will allege the rest. 
Sir, for our mills I say mine is the best. 
My windmill shall grind more corn in one hour 
Than thy water-mill shall in three or four, 
Yea more than thine should in a whole year, 
If thou mightest have as thou hast wished here. 
For thou desirest to have excess of rain, 

I 2 

1 1 6 The Play of the Weather 

Which thing to thcc were the worst thou 

couldst obtain. 

For, if thou didst, it were a plain induction 
To make thine own desire thine own destruc- 
For in excess of rain at any flood [tion. 

Your mills must stand still; they can do no 


And when the wind doth blow the uttermost 
Our windmills walk amaine in every coast. 
For, as we see the wind in his estate, 
We moder our sails after the same rate. 
Since our mills grind so far faster than yours, 
And also they may grind all times and hours, 
I say we need no water-mills at all, 
For windmills be sufficient to serve all. 

Water-miller. Thou speakest of all and con- 

siderest not half ! 

In boast of thy grist thou art wise as a calf ! 
For, though above us your mills grind far 
faster, [farther? 

What help to those from whom ye be much 
And, of two sorts, if the tone should be con 

I think it meet the most number be served. 
In vales and wealds, where most commodity is, 
There is most people : ye must grant me this. 
On hills and downs, which part are most 


There must be few ; it can no mo sustain. 
I dare well say, if it were tried even now, 
That there is ten of us to one of you. 
And where should chiefly all necessaries be, 
But there as people are most in plenty? 
More reason that you come seven mile to mill 
Than all we of the vale should climb the hill. 
If rain came reasonable, as I require it, 

The Play of the Weather 117 

We should of your windmills have need no 

whit. [Entereth Merry Report. 

Merry Report. Stop, foolish knaves, for 

your reasoning is such, 
That ye have reasoned even enough and too 


I heard all the words that ye both have had, 
So help me God, the knaves be more than mad ! 
Neither of them both that hath wit nor grace, 
To perceive that both mills may serve in place. 
Between water and wind there is no such let, 
But each mill may have time to use his fet. 
Which thing I can tell by experience; 
For I have, of mine own, not far from hence, 
In a corner together a couple of mills, 
Standing in a marres between two hills, 
Not of inheritance, but by my wife ; 
She is feofed in the tail for term of her life, 
The one for wind, the other for water. 
And of them both, I thank God, there standeth 
For, in a good hour be it spoken, [nother; 

The water-gate is no sooner open, 
But clap, saith the windmill, even straight be 
hind ! [grind ! 
There is good speed, the devil and all they 
But whether that the hopper be dusty, 
Or that the millstones be somewhat rusty, 
By the mass, the meal is mischievous musty ! 
And if ye think my tale be not trusty, 
I make ye true promise : come, when ye list, 
We shall find mean ye shall taste of the grist. 
Water-miller. The corn at receipt haply is 
not good. [the sweet rood ! 
Merry Report. There can be no sweeter, by 
Another thing yet, which shall not be cloaked, 
My water-mill many times is choked. 

ii8 The Play of the Weather 

Water-miller. So will she be, though ye 

should burst your bones, 
Except ye be perfect in setting- your stones. 
Fear not the lydger, beware your runner. 
Yet this for the lydger, or ye have won her, 
Perchance your lydger doth lack good pecking. 
Merry Report. So saith my wife, and that 

maketh all our checking. 
She would have the mill pecked, pecked, 

pecked, every day ! [may ! 

But, by God, millers must peck when they 
So oft have we pecked that our stones wax 

right thin, 

And all our other gear not worth a pin, 
For with pecking and pecking I have so 

wrought, [nought, 

That I have pecked a good pecking-iron to 
Howbeit, if I stick no better till her, 
My wife saith she will have a new miller. 
But let it pass ! and now to our matter ! 
I say my mills lack nother wind nor water ; 
No more do yours, as far as need doth require. 
But, since ye cannot agree, I will desire 
Jupiter to set you both in such rest 
As to your wealth and his honour may stand 

Water-miller. I pray you heartily remember 

me. [beseech ye. 

Wind-miller. Let not me be forgotten, I 

[Both Millers go forth. 
Merry Report. If I remember you not both 


I would ye were over the ears in the dike. 
Now be we rid of two knaves at one chance. 
By Saint Thomas, it is a knavish riddance. 
[The Gentlewoman entereth. 

The Play of the Weather 119 

Gentlewoman. Now, good god, what a folly 

is this? 

What should I do where so much people is ? 
I know not how to pass into the god now. 

Merry Report. No, but ye know how he 
may pass into you. [back side. 

Gentlewoman. I pray you let me in at the 

Merry Report. Yea, shall I so, and your 

fore side so wide? 

Nay not yet; but since ye love to be alone, 
We twain will into a corner anon. 
But first, I pray you, come your way hither, 
And let us twain chat a while together. 

Gentlewoman. Sir, as to you I have little 
My coming is to speak with Jupiter. [matter. 

Merry Report. Stand ye still a while, and I 

will go prove 

Whether that the god will be brought in love. 
My lord, how now ! look up lustily ! 
Here is a darling come, by Saint Antony. 
And if it be your pleasure to marry, 
Speak quickly ; for she may not tarry. 
In faith, I think ye may win her anon ; 
For she would speak with your lordship alone. 

Jupiter. Son, that is not the thing at this 
time meant. [resort, 

If her suit concern no cause of our hither 
Send her out of place ; but if she be bent 
To that purpose, hear her and make us report. 

Merry Report. I count women lost, if we 

love them not well, 

For ye see God loveth them never a deal. 
Mistress ye cannot speak with the god. 

Gentlewoman. No! why? [is right busy. 

Merry Report. By my faith, for his lordship 
With a piece of work that needs must be done ; 

120 The Play of the Weather 

Even now is he making of a new moon. 
He saith your old moons be so far tasted, 
That all the goodness of them is wasted, 
Which of the great wet hath been most matter 
For old moons be leak ; they can hold no water. 
But for this new moon, I durst lay my gown, 
Except a few drops at her going down, 
Ye get no rain till her arising, 
Without it need, and then no man's devising 
Could wish the fashion of rain to be so good ; 
Not gushing out like gutters of Noah's flood, 
But small drops sprinkling softly on the 

ground ; [no sound. 

Though they fell on a sponge they would give 
This new moon shall make a thing spring more 

in this while [mile. 

Than an old moon shall while a man may go a 
By that time the god hath all made an end, 
Ye shall see how the weather will amend. 
By Saint Anne, he goeth to work even boldly. 
I think him wise enough ; for he looketh oldly ! 
Wherefore, mistress, be ye now of good cheer ; 
For though in his presence ye cannot appear, 
Tell me your matter and let me alone. 
Mayhap I will think on you when you be gone. 
Gentlewoman. Forsooth, the cause of my 

coming is this : 

I am a woman right fair, as ye see ; 
In no creature more beauty than in me is ; 
And, since I am fair, fair would I keep me, 
But the sun in summer so sore doth burn me, 
In winter the wind on every side me. 
No part of the year wot I where to turn me, 
But even in my house am I fain to hide me. 
And so do all other that beauty have ; 
in whose name at this time, this suit I make, 

The Play of the Weather 121 

Beseeching Jupiter to grant that I crave ; 
Which is this, that it may please him, for our 
To send us weather close and temperate, [sake, 
No sunshine, no frost, nor no wind to blow. 
Then would we jet the streets trim as a parrot. 
Ye should see how we would set ourself to 

Merry Report. Jet where ye will, I swear 

by Saint Quintin, 

Ye pass them all, both in your own conceit and 
mine. [at our pleasure, 

Gentlewoman. If we had weather to walk 
Our lives would be merry out of measure. 
One part of the day for our apparelling 
Another part for eating and drinking, 
And all the rest in streets to be walking, 
Or in the house to pass time with talking. 
Merry Report. When serve ye God? 
Gentlewoman. Who boasteth in virtue are 
but daws. [since there is no cause. 

Merry Report. Ye do the better, namely 
How spend ye the night? 

Gentlewoman. In dancing and singing 
Till midnight, and then fall to sleeping. 

Merry Report. Why, sweetheart, by your 

false faith, can ye sing? [all thing. 

Gentlewoman. Nay, nay, but I love it above 

Merry Report. Now, by my troth, for the 

love that I owe you, 

You shall hear what pleasure I can show you. 
One song have I for you, such as it is, 
And if it were better ye should have it, by Gys. 
Gentlewoman. Marry, sir, I thank you even 
heartily. [us sing lust[i]ly. 

Merry Report. Come on, sirs ; but now let 

[Here they sing. 

122 The Play of the Weather 

Gentlewoman. Sir, this is well done; I 

heartily thank you. 

Ye have done me pleasure, I make God avow. 
Once in a night I long for such a fit ; 
For long time have I been brought up in it. 

Merry Report. Oft-time it is seen, both in 
court and town, [brought down. 

Long be women a bringing up and soon 
So fet it is, so neat it is, so nice it is, 
So trick it is, so quick it is, so wise it is. 
I fear myself, except I may entreat her, 
I am so far in love I shall forget her. [ye 

Now, good mistress, I pray you, let me kiss 

Gentlewoman. Kiss me, quoth a ! Why, 
nay, sir, I wis ye. 

Merry Report. What ! yes, hardly ! Kiss 

me once and no more. 
I never desired to kiss you before. 

[Here the Launder cometh in. 

Launder. W T hy ! have ye alway kissed her 


In faith, good enough, if it be your mind. 
And if your appetite serve you so to do, 
By'r lady, I would ye had kissed mine arse too ! 

Merry Report. To whom dost thou speak, 
foul whore ? canst thou tell ? [very well ! 

Launder. Nay, by my troth ! I, sir, not 
But by conjecture this guess I have, 
That I do speak to an old baudy knave. 
I saw you dally with your simper de cocket. 
I rede you beware she pick not your pocket. 
Such idle housewives do now and then 
Think all well won that they pick from a man. 
Yet such of some men shall have more favour, 
Than we, that for them daily toil and labour. 
But I trust the god will be so indifferent 

The Play of the Weather 123 

That she shall fail some part of her intent. 

Merry Report. No doubt he will deal so 
graciously ^ 

That all folk shall be served indifferently. 
Howbeit, I tell the truth, my office is such 
That I must report each suit, little or much. 
Wherefore, with the god since thou canst not 
speak, [break. 

Trust me with thy suit, I will not fail it to 

Launder. Then leave not too much to 

yonder giglet. 

For her desire contrary to mine is set. 
I heard by her tale she would banish the sun, 
And then were we poor launders all undone. 
Except the sun shine that our clothes may dry, 
We can do right nought in our laundry. 
Another manner loss, if we should miss, 
Than of such nycebyceters as she is. 

Gentlewoman. 1 think it better that thou 

envy me, 

Than I should stand at reward of thy pity. 
It is the guise of such gross queans as thou art 
With such as I am evermore to thwart. 
By cause that no beauty ye can obtain 
Therefore ye have us that be fair in disdain. 

Launder. When I was as young as thou 
I was within little as fair as thou, [art now, 
And so might have kept me, if I had would, 
And as dearly my youth I might have sold 
As the trickest and fairest of you all. 
But I feared perils that after might fall, 
Wherefore some business I did me provide, 
Lest vice might enter on every side, [reign. 
Which hath free entry where idleness doth 
It is not thy beauty that I disdain, 
But thine idle life that thou hast rehearsed, 

124 The Play of the Weather 

Which any good woman's heart would have 
For I perceive in dancing and singing, [pierced. 
In eating and drinking and thine apparelling, 
Is all the joy, wherein thy heart is set. [get; 
But nought of all this doth thine own labour 
For, hadst thou nothing but of thine own 


Thou mightest go as naked as my nail. 
Methink thou shouldst abhor such idleness 
And pass thy time in some honest business ; 
Better to lose some part of thy beauty, 
Than so oft to jeopard all thine honesty. 
But I think, rather than thou wouldst so do, 
Thou hadst liever have us live idly too. [have 
And so, no doubt, we should, if thou mightest 
The clear sun banished, as thou dost crave : 
Then were we launders marred and unto thee 
Thine own request were small commodity. 
For of these twain I think it far better 
Thy face were sun-burned, and thy clothes the 

sweeter, [smitten, 

Than that the sun from shining should be 
To keep thy face fair and thy smock beshitten. 
Sir, how like ye my reason in her case? 

Merry Report. Such a railing whore, by the 

holy mass, 

I never heard, in all my life, till now. 
Indeed I love right well the tone of you, 
But, ere I would keep you both, by God's 


The devil shall have the tone to fet the tother. 
Launder. Promise me to speak that the sun 

may shine bright, 
And I will be gone quickly for all night. 

Merry Report. Get you both hence, I pray 

you heartily; 

The Play of the Weather 125 

Your suits I perceive and will report them truly 
Unto Jupiter, at the next leisure, 
And in the same desire, to know his pleasure ; 
Which knowledge had, even as he doth show it, 
Fear ye not, time enough, ye shall know it. 
Gentlewoman. Sir, if ye meddle, remember 
me first. [shall be the worst. 

Launder. Then in this meddling my part 
Merry Report. Now, I beseech our lord, the 

devil thee burst. 

Who meddleth with many I hold him accurst, 
Thou whore, can I meddle with you both at 

[Here the Gentlewoman goeth forth. 
Launder. By the mass, knave, I would I 

had both thy stones 

In my purse, if thou meddle not indifferently, 
That both our matters in issue may be likely. 
Merry Report. Many words, little matter, 

and to no purpose, 

Such is the effect that thou dost disclose, 
The more ye bib the more ye babble, 
The more ye babble the more ye fable, 
The more ye fable the more unstable, 
The more unstable the more unable, 
In any manner thing to do any good. [rood ! 
No hurt though ye were hanged, by the holy 
Launder. The less your silence, the less 

your credence, 

The less your credence the less your honesty, 
The less your honesty the less your assistance, 
The less your assistance the less ability [save, 
In you to do ought. Wherefore, so God me 
No hurt in hanging such a railing knave. 
Merry Report. What monster is this? I 
never heard none such. 

126 The Play of the Weather 

For look how much more I have made her too 

And so far, at least, she hath made me too 


Where be ye Launder? I think in some spital. 
Ye shall wash me no gear, for fear of fretting 
I love no launders that shrink my gear in 


I pray thee go hence, and let me be in rest. 
I will do thine errand as I think best. 

Launder. Now would I take my leave, if I 

wist how. 
The longer I live the more knave you. 

Merry Report. The longer thou livest the 

pity the greater, 

The sooner thou be rid the tidings the better ! 
Is not this a sweet office that I have, 
When every drab shall prove me a knave? 
Every man knoweth not what God's service is, 
Nor I myself knew it not before this. 
I think God's servants may live holily, 
But the devil's servants live more merrily. 
I know not what God giveth in standing fees, 
But the devil's servants have casualties 
A hundred times mo than God's servants have. 
For, though ye be never so stark a knave, 
If ye lack money the devil will do no worse 
But bring you straight to another man's purse. 
Then will the devil promote you here in this 


As unto such rich it doth most accord. 
First pater nosier que es in celis, [heels. 

And then ye shall sense the sheriff with your 
The greatest friend ye have in field or town, 
Standing a-tiptoe, shall not reach your crown. 
[The Boy cometh in, the least that can play. 

The Play of the Weather 127 

Boy. This same is even he, by all likeli- 

Sir, I pray you, be not you master God? [hood, 

Merry Report. No, in good faith, son. But 

I may say to thee 

I am such a man that God may not miss me. 
Wherefore with the god if thou wouldst have 

ought done 

Tell me thy mind, and I shall show it soon. 
Boy. Forsooth, sir, my mind is this, at few 


All my pleasure is in catching of birds, [same ; 
And making of snow-balls and throwing the 
For the which purpose to have set in frame, 
With my godfather God I would fain have 


Desiring him to have sent me by some token 
Where I might have had great frost for my 


And plenty of snow to make my snow-balls. 
This once had, boys' lives be such as no man 

leads. [heads, 

O, to see my snow-balls light on my fellows' 
And to hear the birds how they flicker their 


In the pitfall ! I say it passeth all things. 
Sir, if ye be God's servant, or his kinsman, 
I pray you help me in this if ye can. 

Merry Report. Alas, poor boy, who sent 

thee hither? 

Boy. A hundred boys that stood together, 
Where they heard one say in a cry 
That my godfather, God Almighty, 
Was come from heaven, by his own accord, 
This night to sup here with my lord, 
And farther he said, come whosfo] will, 
They shall sure have their bellies full 

128 The Play of the Weather 

Of all weathers who list to crave, 

Each sort such weather as they list to have. 

And when my fellows thought this would be 

And saw me so pretty a prattling lad, [had, 

Upon agreement, with a great noise, 

" Send little Dick," cried all the boys. 

By whose assent I am purveyed 

To sue for the weather aforesaid. 

Wherein I pray you to be good, as thus, 

To help that God may give it us. 

Merry Report. Give boys weather, quoth a ! 
nonny, nonny ! 

Boy. If God of his weather will give nonny, 
I pray you, will he sell any? 
Or lend us a bushel of snow, or twain, 
And point us a day to pay him again? [light, 

Merry Report. I cannot tell, for, by this 
I chept not, nor borrowed, none of him this 
But by such shift as I will make [night. 

Thou shalt see soon what way he will take. 

Boy. Sir, I thank you. Then I may de 
part. [The Boy goeth forth. 

Merry Report. Yea, farewell, good son, 

with all my heart, 

Now such another sort as here hath been 
In all the days of my life I have not seen. 
No suitors now but women, knaves, and boys, 
And all their suits are in fancies and toys. 
If that there come no wiser after this cry 
I will to the god and make an end quickly. 
Oyez, if that any knave here 
Be willing to appear, 
For weather foul or clear, 
Come in before this flock 
And be he whole or sickly, 
Come, show his mind quickly, 

The Play of the Weather 129 

And if his tale be not likely 

Ye shall lick my tail in the nock. 

All this time I perceive is spent in waste, 

To wait for mo suitors I see none make haste. 

Wherefore I will show the god all this process 

And be delivered of my simple office. 

Now, lord, according to your commandment, 

Attending suitors I have been diligent, 

And, at beginning as your will was I should, 

I come now at end to show what each man 


The first suitor before yourself did appear, 
A gentleman desiring weather clear, 
Cloudy nor misty, nor no wind to blow, 
For hurt in his hunting ; and then, as ye know, 
The merchant sued, for all of that kind, 
For weather clear and measurable wind 
As they may best bear their sails to make 
speed. [deed, 

And straight after this there came to me, in- 
Another man who named himself a ranger, 
And said all of his craft be far brought in 


For lack of living, which chiefly is windfall. 
But he plainly saith there bloweth no wind at 
all, [fleeces, 

Wherefore he desireth, for increase of their 
Extreme rage of wind, trees to tear in pieces. 
Then came a water-miller and he cried out 
For water and said the wind was so stout 
The rain could not fall, wherefore he made re 

For plenty of rain, to set the wind at rest. 
And then, sir, there came a wind-miller in. 
Who said for the rain he could no wind win, 
The water he wished to be banished all, 


130 The Play of the Weather 

Beseeching your grace of wind continual. 
Then came there another that would banish all 
A goodly dame, an idle thing i-wys. [this 

Wind, rain, nor frost, nor sunshine, would she 


But fair close weather, her beauty to save. 
Then came there another that liveth by laundry, 
Who must have weather hot and clear her 
clothes to dry. [tinual, 

Then came there a boy for frost and snow con- 
Snow to make snow-balls and frost for his pit 

For which, God wot, he sueth full greedily. 
Your first man would have weather clear and 
not windy ; [meanly ; 

The second the same, save cooles to blow 
The third desired storms and wind most ex 
tremely ; [wind ; 
The fourth all in water and would have no 
The fifth no water, but all wind to grind ; 
The sixth would have none of all these, nor no 
bright sun ; [won ; 
The seventh extremely the hot sun would have 
The eighth, and the last, for frost and snow he 


By'r lady, we shall take shame, I am afraid ! 
Who marketh in what manner this sort is led 
May think it impossible all to be sped. [ten, 
This number is small, there lacketh twain of 
And yet, by the mass, among ten thousand men 
No one thing could stand more wide from the 

tother ; 

Not one of their suits agreeth with another. 
I promise you, here is a shrewd piece of work. 
This gear will try whether ye be a clerk. 
If ye trust to me, it is a great folly; 

The Play of the Weather 131 

For it passeth my brains, by God's body ! 

Jupiter. Son, thou hast been diligent and 

done so well, 

That thy labour is right much thank-worthy. 
But be thou sure we need no whit thy counsel, 
For in ourself we have foreseen remedy, 
Which thou shalt see. But, first, depart hence 


To the gentleman and all other suitors here 
And command them all before us to appear. 

Merry Report. That shall be no longer in 
Than I am in coming and going. [doing 

[Merry Report goeth out. 

Jupiter. Such debate as from above ye have 


Such debate beneath among yourselves ye see ; 
As long as heads from temperance be deferred, 
So long the bodies in distemperance be, 
This perceive ye all, but none can help save we. 
But as we there have made peace concordantly, 
So will we here now give you remedy. 

[Merry Report and all the suitors entereth. 

Merry Report. If I had caught them 
Or ever I raught them, 
I would have taught them 
To be near me; 
Full dear have I bought them, 
Lord, so I sought them, 
Yet have I brought them, 
Such as they be. [so it is, 

Gentleman. Pleaseth it your majesty, lord, 
We, as your subjects and humble suitors all, 
According as we hear your pleasure is, 
Are pressed to your presence, being principal 
Head and governor of all in every place, 
Who joyeth not in your sight, no joy can have. 

K 2 

132 The Play of the Weather 

Wherefore we all commit us to your grace 
As lord of lords us to perish or save. 

Jupiter. As long as discretion so well doth 
Obediently to use your duty, [y u guide 

Doubt ye not we shall your safety provide, 
Your griefs we have heard, wherefore we sent 

for ye 

To receive answer, each man in his degree, 
And first to content most reason it is, [this, 
The first man that sued, wherefore mark ye 
Oft shall ye have the weather clear and still 
To hunt in for recompense of your pain. 
Also you merchants shall have much your will. 
For oft-times, when no wind on land doth re 

Yet on the sea pleasant cooles you shall obtain. 
And since your hunting may rest in the night, 
Oft shall the wind then rise, and before day 

It shall rattle down the wood, in such case 
That all ye rangers the better live may ; 
And ye water-millers shall obtain this grace 
Many times the rain to fall in the valley, 
When at the self times on hills we shall purvey 
Fair weather for your windmills, with such 

cooles of wind 

As in one instant both kinds of mills may grind. 
And for ye fair women, that close weather 

would have, 

We shall provide that ye may sufficiently 
Have time to walk in, and your beauty save; 
And yet shall ye have, that liveth by laundry, 
The hot sun oft enough your clothes to dry. 
Also ye, pretty child, shall have both frost and 
snow, [arow. 

Now mark this conclusion, we charge you 

The Play of the Weather 133 

Much better have we now devised for ye all 
Than ye all can perceive, or could desire. 
Each of you sued to have continual 
Such weather as his craft only doth require, 
All weathers in all places if men all times might 

hire, [gence 

Who could live by other? what is this negli- 
Us to attempt in such inconvenience. 
Now, on the tother side, if we had granted 
The full of some one suit and no mo, 
And from all the rest the weather had forbid, 
Yet who so had obtained had won his own woe, 
There is no one craft can preserve man so, 
But by other crafts, of necessity, 
He must have much part of his commodity. 
All to serve at once and one destroy another, 
Or else to serve one and destroy all the rest, 
Neither will we do the tone nor the tother 
But serve as many, or as few, as we think best ; 
And where, or what time, to serve most or 


The direction of that doubtless shall stand 
Perpetually in the power of our hand. 
Wherefore we will the whole world to attend 
Each sort on such weather as for them doth 


Now one, now other, as liketh us to send. 
Who that hath it, ply it, and sure we shall 
So guide the weather in course to you all, 
That each with other ye shall whole remain 
In pleasure and plentiful wealth, certain. 
Gentleman. Blessed was the time wherein 

we were born, [presence. 

First for the blissful chance of your godly 
Next for our suit was there never man beforne 
That ever heard so excellent a sentence 

134 The Play of the Weather 

As your grace hath given to us all arow, 
Wherein your highness hath so bountifully 
Distributed my part that your grace shall 
know, [chivalry. 

Your self sooll possessed of hearts of all 
Merchant. Likewise we merchants shall 

yield us wholly, 

Only to laud the name of Jupiter 
As god of all gods, you to serve solely ; 
For of everything, I see, you are nourisher. 
Ranger. No doubt it is so, for so we now 

find ; 

Wherein your grace us rangers so doth bind, 
That we shall give you our hearts with one 


For knowledge to know you as our only lord. 
Water-miller. Well, I can no more, but 

" for our water 

We shall give your lordship our lady's psalter." 
Wind-miller. Much have ye bound us; for, 

as I be saved, 

We have all obtained better than we craved. 
Gentlewoman. That is true, wherefore your 

grace shall truly 
The hearts of such as I am have surely. 

Launder. And such as I am, who be as 

good as you, 

His highness shall be sure on, I make a vow. 
Boy. Godfather god, I will do somewhat for 

you again. 

By Christ, ye may hap to have a bird or twain, 
And I promise you, if any snow come, 
When I make my snow-balls ye shall have 


Merry Report. God thank your lordship. 
Lo, how this is brought to pass ! 

The Play of the Weather 135 

Sir, now shall ye have the weather even as it 
was. [farther to boast, 

Jupiter. We need no whit ourself any 
For our deeds declare us apparently. 
Not only here on earth, in every coast, 
But also above in the heavenly company, 
Our prudence hath made peace universally, 
Which thing we say, recordeth us as principal 
God and governor of heaven, earth, and all. 
Now unto that heaven we will make return, 
When we be glorified most triumphantly, 
Also we will all ye that on earth sojourn, 
Since cause giveth cause to know as your lord 
And now here to sing most joyfully, [only, 

Rejoicing in us, and in meantime we shall 
Ascend into our throne celestial. 


Printed by W. Rastell. 

Cum Privilegio. 







Lover not Loved. Lo Sir, whoso that 

looketh here for courtesy 
And seeth me seem as one pretending none, 
But as unthought upon thus suddenly 
Approach the midst among you everyone, 
And of you all saith nought to anyone, 
May think me rude perceiving of what sort 
Ye seem to be, and of what stately port. 
But I beseech you in most humble wise 
To omit displeasure and pardon me. 
My manner is to muse and devise 
So that some time myself may carry me, 
Myself knoweth not where; and I assure ye 
So hath myself done now ; for, our lord wot, 
Where I am, or what ye be, I know not ; 
Or whence I came, or whither I shall 
All this in manner as unknown to me. 
But, even as fortune guideth my foot to fall 
So wander I, yet wheresoever I be, 
And whom, or how many soever I see, 
As one person to me is everyone 
So every place to me but as one. 
And, for that one person every place seek I, 
Which one, once found, I find of all the rest 
Not one missing; and, in the contrary, 

140 The Play of Love 

[TJhat one absent, though that there were here 


[A]ll the creatures living 1 , most and least, 
[YJet lacking her I should, and ever shall, 
Be as alone since she to me is all. 
And alone is she without comparison 
Concerning the gifts given by nature ; 
In favour fairness and port as of person 
No life beareth the like of that creature, 
Nor no tongue can attain to put in ure 
Her to describe, for how can words express 
That thing the full whereof no thought can 
And, as it is a thing inestimable [guess? 

To make report of her beautifully, 
So is my love toward her unable 
To be reported, as who saith rightly ; 
For my whole service and love to that lady 
Is given under such abundant fashion [tion. 
That no tongue thereof can make right rela- 
Wherein I suppose this well supposed 
Unto you all; that since she perceiving ' 
As much of my love as can be disclosed, 
Even of very right in recompensing 
She ought for my love again to be loving. 
For what more right to grant, when love love 

requireth, [sireth? 

Than love for love, when love nought else de- 
But even as far worse as otherwise, then so 
Stand I in case in manner desperate. 
No time can time my suit to ease my woe ; 
Before none too early, and all times else too 


Thus time out of time mistimeth my rate ; 
For time to bring time to hope of any grace 
That time timeth no time in any time or place. 
Whereby, till time have time so far extinct 

The Play of Love 141 

That death may determine my life thus deadly, 
No time can I rest. Alas ! I am so linked 
To griefs, both so great and also many, 
That by the same I say, and will verify, 
Of all pains the most incomparable pain 
Is to be a lover not loved again. 

[The Woman Beloved not Loving entereth. 

Loved not Loving. Sir, as touching those 

words of comparison 

Which ye have said and would seem to verify, 
If it may please you to stand thereupon, 
Hearing and answering me patiently, 
I doubt not by the same incontinently 
Yourself to see, by words that shall ensue, 
The contrary of your words verified for true. 

Lover not Loved. Fair lady, pleaseth it you 

to repair near, 

And in this cause to show cause reasonable 
Whereby cause of reformation may appear 
Of reason I must and will be reformable. 

Loved not Loving. Well, since ye pretend 

to be conformable 

To reason in avoiding circumstance, 
Briefly by reason I shall the truth avance. 
Ye be a lover no whit loved again, 
And I am loved of whom I love nothing, 
Then standeth our question between these twain 
Of loving not loved, or loved not loving 
Which is the case most painful in suffering? 
Whereto I say that the most pain doth move 
To those beloved of whom they cannot love. 

Lover not Loved. Those words approved 

too, might make a change 
Of mine opinion, but verily 
The case as ye put it I think more strange 
Than true, for though the beloved party 

142 The Play of Love 

Cannot love again, yet possibly 

Can I not think, nor I think never shall, 

That to be loved can be any pain at all. 

Loved not Loving. That reason, perceived, 

and received for truth, [me : 

From proper comparison should clear confound 

Between pain and no pain, no such comparison 


Then, or I can on comparison ground me, [me ; 
To prove my case painful ye have first bound 
To which, since ye drive me by your denial, 
Mark what ensueth before farther trial. 
I say I am loved of a certain man 
Whom for no suit I can favour again ; 
And that have I told him since his suit began 
A thousand times, but every time in vain. 
For, never ceaseth his tongue to complain, 
And ever one tale which I never can flee ; 
For ever, in manner, where I am is he. 
Now, if you to hear one thing everywhere, 
Contrary to your appetite, should be led, [ear, 
Were it but a mouse, lo ! should peep in your 
Or alway to harp on a crust of bread 
How could you like such harping at your head ? 

Lover not Loved. Somewhat displeasant it 
were, I not deny. 

Loved not Loving. Then somewhat painful, 

as well said, say I. 

Displeasure and pain be things jointly annexed ; 
For, as it is displeasant in pain to be, 
So it is painful in displeasure to be vexed. 
Thus, by displeasure in pain, ye confess me; 
Whereby, since ye part of my pain do see, 
In my further pain I shall now declare 
That pain by which with your pain I compare. 
Small were the quantity of my painful smart 

The Play of Love 143 

If his jangling pierced no further than mine 


But, through mine ears directly to mine heart 
Pierceth his words, even like as many spears ; 
By which I have spent so many and such tears 
That, where they all red as they be all white, 
The blood of my heart had be gone or this 


And, almost in case as though it were gone 
Am I, except his suit take end shortly; 
For it doth like me even like as one 
Should offer me service most humbly 
With an axe in his hand, continually 
Beseeching me gently that this might be sped 
To grant him my good will to strike off my 


I allege for general this one similitude, 
Avoiding rehearsal of pains particular 
To abbreviate the time, and to exclude 
Surplusage of words in this our matter; 
By which ensample, if ye consider 
Rightly my case, at leastwise ye may see 
My pain as painful as your pain can be. [pain 
And yet, for shorter end, put case that your 
Were oft-times more sharp and sore in degree 
Than mine is at any time, yet will I prove plain 
My pain, at length, sufficient to match ye : 
Which proof to be true yourself shall agree 
If your affection in that I shall recite 
May suffer your reason to understand right. 
You stand in pleasure having your love in 

sight ; 

And, in her absence, hope of sight again 
Keepeth most times possession of some delight. 
Thus have you oft-times some way ease of pain, 
And I never no way ; for when I do remain 

144 The Play of Love 

In his presence, in deadly pain I sojourn; 
And absent, half dead in fear of his return. 
Since presence nor absence absenteth my pain, 
But alway the same to me is present, [again 
And that by presence and hope of presence 
There doth appear much of your time spent, 
Out of pain methinketh this consequent 
That my pain may well, by mean of the length, 
Compare with your shorter pain of more 
strength. [pain be no stronger 

Lover not Loved. Mistress, if your long 
Than is your long reason against my short pain, 
Ye lack no likelihood to live much longer 
Than he that would strike off your head so fain ; 
Yet, lest ye would note me your words to dis- 
I am content to agree for a season [dain, 

To grant and enlarge your latter reason. 
Admit, by her presence, half my time pleasant, 
And all your time as painful as in case can be, 
Yet your pain to be most reason will not grant. 
And, for ensample, I put case that ye 
Stood in cold water all a day to the knee, 
And I half the same day to mid leg in the fire, 
Would ye change places with me for the dryer? 

Loved not Loving. Nay ! that would I not, 
be ye assured. [above yours is as ill 

Lover not Loved. Forsooth ! and my pain 
As fire above water, thus to be endured. 
Came my pain but at times, and yours continue 


Yet should mine many ways to whom can skill 
Show yours, in comparison between the twain 
Scantly able for a shadow to my pain. 
Felt ye but one pang such as I feel many, 
One pang of despair, or one pang of desire, 
One pang of one displeasant look of her eye, 

The Play of Love 145 

One pang of one word of her mouth as in ire, 
Or in restraint of her love which I require 
One pang of all these, felt once in all your life, 
Should quaile your opinion and quench all our 


Which pangs, I say, admitted short at ye list, 
And all my time beside pleasant as ye please, 
Yet could not the shortness the sharpness to 

resist. [these, 

The piercing of my heart is the least of all 
But much it overmatcheth all your disease ; 
For no whit in effect is your case displeasant 
But to deny a thing which ye list not to grant. 
Or, to hear a suitor by daily petition, 
In humble manner as wit can devise, 
Require a thing, so standing in condition 
As no portion of all his enterprise 
Without your consent can speed in any wise 
This suit thus attempted never so long [strong. 
Doubt ye no death till your pain be more 
Now, since in this matter between us disputed, 
Mine admittance of your words notwithstand- 
I have thus fully your part confuted, [ m gf> 

What can ye say now I come to denying 
Your principle, granted in my foresaying? 
Which was this, by the presence of my lady 
I granted you half my time spent pleasantly. 
Although mine affection leadeth me to consent 
That her selde presence is my relief only, 
Yet, as in reason appeareth, all my torment 
Bred by her presence and mark this cause 
Before I saw her I felt no malady ; [why ! 
And since I saw her I never was free 
From twain the greatest pain that in love be. 
Desire is the first upon my first sight, 
And despair the next upon my first suit ; 


146 The Play of Love 

For, upon her first answer hope was put to 


And never came since in place to dispute 
How bringeth then her presence to me any 


For hopeless and helpless, in flames of desire 
And drops of despair, I smoulder in fire. 
These twain being endless since they began, 
And both by the presence of her wholly 
Began and continued, I wonder if ye can 
Speak any word more, but yield immediately ; 
For had I no mo pains but these, yet clearly 
A thousand times more is my grief in these 
twain [plain. 

Than yours in all the case by which ye com- 

Loved not Loving. That is as ye say, but 

not as I suppose, 

Nor as the truth is, which yourself might see 
By reasons that I could and would disclose 
Saving that I see such partiality 
On your part, that we shall never agree 
Unless ye will admit some man indifferent, 
Indifferently to hear us, and so give judgment. 

Lover not Loved. Agreed ! for though the 

knowledge of all my pain 
Ease my pain no whit, yet shall it declare 
Great cause of abashment in you, to complain 
In counterfeit pains with my pain to compare 
But here is no judge meet, we must seek else 
where, [same to condescend 

Loved not Loving. I hold me content the 
Please it you to set forth and I shall attend. 

[Here they go both out and the Lover Be 
loved entereth with a song. [can deny 

Lover Loved. By common experience who 
Impossibility for man to show 

The Play of Love 147 

His inward intent, but by signs outwardly 
As writing-, speech, or countenance whereby 

doth grow 

Outward perceiving inwardly to know, 
Of every secrecy in man's breast wrought, 
From man unto man the effect of each thought. 
These things well weighed in many things show 


In our outward signs to show us so that plain, 
According to our thoughts, words and signs 
proceed ; [feign 

For, in outward signs where men are seen to 
What credence in man to man may remain? 
Man's inward mind, with outward signs to 


May soon be more common than commendable. 
Much are we lovers then to be commended, 
For love his appearance dissembleth in no wise, 
But as the heart feeleth like signs alway pre 
tended [enemies : 
Who Teign in appearance are love's mortal 
As, in despair of speed, who that can mirth de 
vise, [mourners 
Or, having grant of grace can show them as 
Such be no lovers but even very shorners. 
The true lover's heart that cannot obtain 
Is so tormented, that all the body 
Is evermore so compelled to complain, 
That sooner may the suffrant hide the fury 
Of a fervent fever, than, of that malady, 
By any power human, he possible may 
Hide the least pain of a thousand, I daresay. 
And he who in loving hath loth to such luck 
That love for love of his love be found 
Shall be of power, even as easily to pluck 
The moon in a moment with a finger to ground, 

L 2 

148 The Play of Love 

As of his joy to enclose the rebound, 
But that the reflection thereof from his heart 
To his beholders shall shine in each part. 
Thus, be a lover in joy or in care, 
Although will and wit his estate would hide, 
Yet shall his semblance as a dial declare 
How the clock goeth; which may be well ap 

In abridgment of circumstance for a guide 
To lead you in few words, by my behaviour, 
To know me in grace of my lady's favour. 
For being a lover, as I am indeed, 
And thereto disposed thus pleasantly, 
Is a plain appearance of my such speed 
As I in love could wish, and undoubtedly 
My love is requited so lovingly 
That in everything that may delight in mind 
My wit cannot wish it so well as I find. 
Which thing, at full considered, I suppose 
That all the whole world must agree, in one 
I being beloved, as I now disclose, [voice, 

Of one being chief of all the whole choice 
Must have incomparable cause to rejoice ; 
For the highest pleasure that man may obtain 
Is to be a lover beloved again. 

[Neither Lover nor Loved entereth. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Now God you 
good even, Master Woodcock ! 

Lover Loved. Cometh of rudeness or lewd- 
ness that mock? 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Come whereof it 

shall ye come of such stock 
That God you good even, Master Woodcock ! 

Lover Loved. This losel by like hath lost 
his wit ! [Woodcock, not a whit ! 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Nay, nay, Master 

The Play of Love 149 

I have known you for a woodcock or this; 
Or else like a woodcock I take you amiss. 
But, though for a woodcock ye deny the same, 
Yet shall your wit witness you meet for that 
Lover Loved. How so? [name. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Thus, lo ! 
I do perceive, by your former process, 
That ye be a lover whereto ye confess 
Yourself beloved in as loving- wise 
As by wit and will ye can wish to devise : 
Concluding therein, determinately 
That, of all pleasures pleasant to the body, 
The highest pleasure that man may obtain 
Is to be a lover beloved again. 
In which conclusion, before all this flock, 
I shall prove you plain as wise as a woodcock. 
Lover Loved. And methink this woodcock 

is turned on thy side 
Contrary to courtesy and reason to use 
Thus rudely to rail or any word be tried 
In proof of thy part, whereby I do refuse 
To answer the same ; thou canst not excuse 
Thy folly in this ; but, if thou wilt say ought, 
Assay to say better for this saying is nought. 
Neither Lover nor Loved. Well, since it is 

so that ye be discontent 

To be called fool or further matter be spent, 
Will ye give me leave to call ye fool anon 
When yourself perceiveth that I have proved 

you one? 
Lover Loved. Yea, by my soul, and will 

take it in good worth ! 
Neither Lover [nor] Loved. Now, by my 

father's soul ! then will we even forth 
That part rehearse of your saying or this 
Of all our debate the only cause is; 

150 The Play of Love 

For, where ye afore have fastly affirmed 
That such as be lovers again beloved 
Stand in most pleasure that to man may move, 
That tale to be false truth shall truly prove. 

Lover Loved. What folk above those live 
more pleasantly? 

Neither Lover nor Loved. What folk? 
marry ! even such folk as am I. 

Lover Loved. Being no lover what man 
may ye be? 

Neither Lover nor Loved. No lover ! no, by 

God, I warrant ye ! 
I am no lover in no manner meant, 
As doth appear in this purpose present, 
For, as touching women, go where I shall 
I am at one point with women all 
The smotest, the smirkest, the smallest, 
The truest, the trimmest, the tallest, 
The wisest, the wiliest, the wildest, 
The merriest, the mannerliest, the mildest, 
The strangest, the straightest, the strongest, 
The lustiest, the least, or the longest, 
The rashest, the ruddyest, the roundest, 
The sagest, the sallowest, the soundest, 
The coyest, the curstest, the coldest, 
The busiest, the brightest, the boldest, 
The thankfullest, the thinnest, the thickest, 
The saintliest, the sourest, the sickest 
Take these with all the rest, and of everyone, 
So God be my help I love never one ! 

Lover Loved. Then I beseech thee this one 

thing tell me 
How many women thinkest thou dost love thee? 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Sir, as I be 

saved, by ought I can prove, 
I am beloved even like as I love. 

The Play of Love 151 

Lover Loved. Then, as appeareth by those 

words rehearsed, 
Thou art nother lover nor beloved. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Nother lover nor 

beloved, that is even true ! 

Lover Loved. Since that is true I marvel 

what can ensue [avaunt, 

For proof of thy part, in that thou madest 

Of both our estates, to prove thine most 

pleasant. [pleasant may soon be guessed 

Neither Lover nor Loved. My part for most 

By my continual quieted rest. [quiet be? 

Lover Loved. Being no lover, who may 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Nay, being a 

lover, what man is he 
That is quiet? 

Lover Loved. Marry, I ! 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Marry, ye lie ! 

Lover Loved. What ! patience my friend, ye 

are too hasty ! 

If ye will patiently mark what I shall say 
Yourself shall perceive me in quiet alway. 
Neither Lover nor Loved. Say what thou 

will, and I therein protest 
To believe no word thou sayest, most nor lest. 
Lover Loved. Then we twain shall talk both 

in vain, I see, 

Except our matter awarded may be 
By judgment of some indifferent hearer. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Marry ! go thou 

and be an inquirer ; 

And, if thou canst bring one anything lyckly, 
He shall be admitted for my part quickly. 
Lover Loved. Now, by the good God, I 

grant to agree ; 
For, be thou assured it scorneth me 

152 The Play of Love 

That thou shouldst compare in pleasure to be 
Like me ; and surely, I promise thee, 
One way or other, I will find redress. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Find the best and 

next way thy wit can guess ; 
And, except your nobs for malice do need ye, 
Make brief return, a fellowship speed ye ! 

[The Lover Loved goeth out. 
Neither Lover nor Loved. My marvel is no 

more than my care is small 
What knave this fool shall bring, being not 

partial ; 

And yet, be he false and a foolish knave too, 
So that it be not much ado, 
To bring a daw to hear and speak right 
I foresee for no man the worth of a mite. 
And since my doubt is so small in good speed 
What should my study be more than my need ? 
Till time I perceive this woodcock coming 
My part hereof should pass even in mumming. 
Saving for pastime, since I consider, 
He being a lover and all his matter 
To depend on love, and contrary, I 
No lover, by which all such standing by 
As favour my part, may fear me too weak 
Against the loving of this lover to speak 
I shall, for your comfort, declare such a story 
As shall perfectly plant in your memory 
That I have knowledge in lovers' laws 
As deep as some dozen of those doting daws. 
Which told, all ye whose fancies stick near me, 
Shall know it causeless in this case to fear me. 
For though, as I show, I am no lover now, 
Nor never have been, yet shall I show you 
How that I once chanced to take in hand 
To feign myself a lover, ye shall understand, 

The Play of Love 


Toward such a sweeting, as by sweet scent 


I know not the like in fashion and favour. 

And to begin 
At setting in : 
First was her skin 
White, smooth and 
And every vein [thin ; 
So blue seen plain; 
Her golden hair ; 
To see her wear 
Her wearing gear, 
Alas! I fear, 
To tell all to you 
I shall undo you ; 
Her eye so rolling 
Each heart control 

Her nose not long, 
Nor stood not wrong ; 
Her finger tips 
So clean she clips ; 
Her rosy lips 

So fair, so ruddy, 
It axeth study 
The whole to tell, 
It did excel; 
It was so made 
That even the shade 
At every glade 
Would hearts invade; 
The paps so small, 
And round withal; 
The waist not mickle, 
But it was tickle ; 
The thigh, the knee 
As they should be; 
But such a leg 
A lover would beg 
To set eye on 
But it is gone; 
Then sight of the 
foot [root ; 

Rift hearts to the 

Her cheeks gossips 

And last of all, Saint Katherine's wheel 

Was never so round as was her heel. 

Assault her heart and who could win it ; 

As for her heel do hold in it ; 

Let over that her beauty was so much ; 

In pleasant qualities her graces were such 

For dalliant pastaunce, pass where she should, 

No greater difference between lead and gold 

Than between the rest and her ; and such a wit 

That no wight I ween might match her in it ; 

If she had not wit to set wise men to school 

Then shall my tale prove me a stark fool. 

154 The Play of Love 

But, in this matter to make you meet to guess, 
Ye shall understand that I with this mistress 
Fell late acquainted ; and for love no whit, 
But, for my pleasure, to approve my wit, 
How I could love to this tricker dissemble 
Who, in dissimilling, was perfect and nimble. 
For, where or when she list to give a mock 
She could, and would, do it beyond the nock. 
Wherein I thought that if I teased her 
I should thereby like my wit the better ; 
And, if she chanced to trip or trise me, 
It should to learn wit a good lesson be. 
Thus, for my pastime, I did determine 
To mock, or be mocked, of this mocking 


For which her presence I did first obtain, 
And that obtained, forthwith fell we twain 
In great acquaintance, and made as good cheer 
As we had been acquainted twenty year. 
And I, through fair flattering behaviour, 
Seemed anon so deep in her favour 
That though the time then so far passed was, 
That time required us asunder to pass, 
Yet could I no passport get of my sweeting 
Till I was full wooed for the next day's meet- 
For surance whereof I must, as she bade, [ing ; 
Give her in gage best jewel I there had. 
And, after much mirth as our wits could devise, 
We parted ; and I the next morn did arise, 
In time, not too timely, such time as I could : 
I allow no love where sleep is not allowed. 
I was, or I entered this journey vowed, 
Decked very cleanly, but not very proud ; 
But trim must I be, for slovenly lobers 
Have, ye wot well, no place among lovers. 
But I thus decked at all points point device, 

The Play of Love 155 

At door where this trull was I was as a trice. 

Whereat I knocked, her presence to win ; 

Wherewith it was opened, and I was let in ; 

And, at my first coming my minion seemeth 

Very merry, but anon she misdeemed 

That I was not merrily disposed. 

And so might she think, for I disclosed 

No word nor look, but such as showed as sadly 

As I indeed inwardly thought madly : 

And so must I show, for lovers be in rate 

Sometimes merry, but most times passionate. 

In giving thanks to her of over night 

We set us down an heavy couple in sight; 

And therewithal I set a sigh, such one 

As made the form shake which we both sat on. 

Whereupon she, without more words spoken, 

Fell in weeping as her heart should have 

And I, in secret, laughing so heartily [broken ; 

That from mine eyes came water plenteously. 

Anon I turned, with look sadly, that she 

My weeping as watery as hers might see; 

Which done, these words anon to me she 

spake. [take 

" Alas ! dear heart, what wight might under- 
To show one so sad as you this morning, 
Being so merry as you last evening ; 
I so far then the merrier for you, 
And without desert thus far the sadder now." 
"The self thing," quoth I, "which made me 

then glad, 

The selfsame is thing that maketh me now sad ; 
The love that I owe you is original, 
Ground of my late joy and present pain all. 
And, by this mean, love is evermore lad 
Between two angels, one good and one bad 
Hope and Dread which two be alvvay at strife, 

156 The Play of Love 

Which one of them both with love shall rule 

most rife. [night 

And Hope, that good angel, first part of last 
Drew Dread, that bad angel, out of place quite. 
Hope sware I should straight have your love 

at once ; [bones ! 

And Dread, this bad angel, sware, Blood and 
That if I won your love all in one hour 
I should lose it all again in three or four 
Wherein this good angel hath lost the mastery, 
And I, by this bad angel, won this agony. 
And be ye sure I stand now in such case 
That, if I lack your continued grace, 
In heaven, hell, or earth, there is not that he 
Save only God that knoweth what shall come 
I love not in rate all the common flock, [on me. 
I am no feigner, nor I cannot mock ; 
Wherefore I beseech you that your reward 
May witness that ye do my truth regard." 
** Sir, as touching mocking," quoth she, " I 

am sure 

Ye be too wise to put that here in ure. 
For nother give I cause why ye so should do, 
Nor nought could ye win that way worth an old 


For, whoso that mocketh shall surely stir 
This old proverb, Mockum moccabitur. 
But, as for you, I think myself assured 
That very love hath you hither allured. 
For which," quoth she, " let Hope hop up 


And vanquish Dread so that it be in vain 
To Dread or to doubt, but I in everything, 
As cause giveth cause, will be your own 

darling." [smarts 

" Sweetheart," quoth I, " after stormy cold 

The Play of Love 157 

Warm words in warm lovers bring lovers warm 

hearts. [now 

And so have your words warmed my heart even 
That, dreadless and doubtless now must I love 

Anon there was " I love you," and " I love 

you " 

Lovely we lovers love each other. 
" I love you," and " I, for love, love you 
My lovely loving loved brother." 
" Love me," " love thee," " love we," " love 

he," "love she." 

Deeper love apparent in no twain can be; 
Quite over the ears in love, and felt no 

ground [drowned. 

Had not swimming holpe in love I had been 
But I swam by the shore, the vantage to keep 
To mock her in love seeming to swim more 
Thus continued we, day by day, [deep. 

Till time that a month was passed away, 
In all the which time such a wayt she took 
That, by no mean I might once set one look 
Upon any woman in company 
But straightway she set the finger in the eye. 
And, by that same aptness in jealousy, 
I thought sure she loved me perfectly ; 
And I, to show myself in like loving, 
Dissimilled like cheer in all her like looking. 
By this, and other like things then in hand, 
I gave her mocks, methought, above a 


Whereby I thought her own tale like a burr 
Stuck to her own back Mockum moccabitur ! 
And upon this I fell in devising 
To bring to end this idle disguising. 
Whereupon, suddenly, I stole away; 

158 The Play of Love 

And, when I had been absent half a day [me ! 
My heart misgave me by God that bought 
That if she missed me where I thought she 
sought me [me. 

She sure would be mad by love that she ought 
Wherein, not love, but pity so wrought me 
That to return anon I bethought me ; 
And so returned till chance had brought me 
To her chamber door, and hard I knocked. 
" Knock soft," quoth one who the same un 

An ancient wise woman who was never 
From this said sweeting, but about her ever. 
"Mother," quoth I, "how doth my dear 
darling?" [absenting." 

"Dead, wretch," cried she, "even by thine 
And without mo words the door to her she shyt, 
I, standing without, half out of my wit 
In that this woman should die in my fault. 
But since I could in there by none assault, 
To her chamber window I gat about 
To see, at the last way, the corse laid out ; 
And there, looking in, by God's blessed 
I saw her naked abed with another ; [mother ! 
And with her bedfellow laughed me to scorn 
As merrily as ever she laughed beforne. 
The which, when I saw, and then remembered 
The terrible words that mother brendered, 
And also bethought me of everything 
Showed in this woman true love betokening, 
Myself to see served thus prately 
To myself I laughed even heartily, 
With myself considering to have had like speed 
If myself had been a lover indeed. 
But now to make some matter whereby 
I may take my leave of my love honestly 

The Play of Love 159 

"Sweetheart," quoth I, " ye take too much 
upon ye." [quoth she, 

" No more than becomes me, know thou well," 
" But thou hast taken too much upon thee 
In taking that thou took in hand to mock me. 
Wherein, from beginning, I have seen thee jet 
Like as a fool might have jetted in a net, 
Believing himself, save of himself only, 
To be perceived of no living body. 
But well saw I thine intent and beginning 
Was to bestow a mock on me at ending, [heart, 
When thou laughedst, dissimilling a weeping 
Then 1, with weeping eyes, played even the like 


Wherewith I brought in, Moccum moccabitur. 
And yet thou, being a long snouted cur, 
Could no whit smell that all my meaning was 
To give mock for mock, as now is come to 
pass. [some, 

Which now, thus passed, if thy wit be hand- 
May defend thee from mocks in time to come 
By clapping fast to thy snout every day, 
Moccum moccabitur, for a nosegay." [to; 

Wherewith she start up and shut her window 
Which done, I had no more to say nor do 
But think myself, or any man else, a fool 
In mocks or wiles to set women to school. 
But now to purpose wherefore I began : 
Although I were made a fool by this woman 
Concerning mocking, yet doth this tale approve 
That I am well seen in the art of love. 
For I, intending no love, but to mock, 
Yet could no lover of all the whole flock 
Circumstance of love disclose more nor better 
Than did I, the substance being no greater. 
And, by this tale afore, ye all may see 

160" The Play of Love 

Although a lover as well loved be 
As love can devise him for pleasant speed, 
Yet two displeasures jealousy and dread 
Is mixed with love; whereby love is a drink 
meet [sweet. 

To give babes for worms, for it drinketh bitter 
And, as for this babe, our lover, in whose head 
By a frantic worm his opinion is bred, 
After one draught of this medicine ministered 
Into his brain by my brain appointed, 
Reason shall so temper his opinion 
That he shall see it not worth an onion. 
And if he have any other thing to lay 
I have to convince him every way. 
And since my part now doth thus well appear, 
Be ye, my partners, now all of good cheer 
N But, silence, every man, upon a pain, 

For Master Woodcock is now come again. 

[The Lover Loved entereth. 
Lover Loved. The old saying saith, he that 

seeketh shall find ; 

Which, after long seeking, true have I found. 
But, for such a finding myself to bind, 
To such a seeking as I was now bound, 
I would rather seek to lose twenty pound. 
Howbeit I have sought so far to my pain 
That at the last I have found and brought 

[The Lover not Loved, and Loved not Loving 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Come they a- 

horseback ? 

Lover Loved. Nay, they come a-foot, [mist. 

Which thou might see here, but for this great 

Neither Lover nor Loved. By Jys ! and yet 

see I, thou blind bald coot ! 

The Play of Love 161 

That one of those twain might ride if he list. 
Lover Loved. How? 
Neither Lover nor Loved. Marry ! for he 

leadeth a nag on his fist 
Mistress, ye are welcome, and welcome ye be ! 
Loved not Loving. Nay, welcome be ye, for 

we were here before ye ! 
Neither Lover nor Loved. Ye have been 

here before me before now, 
And now I am here before you, 
And now I am here behind ye, 
And now ye be here behind me, 
And now we be here even both together, 
And now be we welcome even both hither. 
Since now ye find me here, with courtesy I may 
Bid you welcome hither, as I may say. 
But, setting this aside, let us set a-broach 
The matter wherefore ye hither approach ; 
Wherein I have hope that ye both will be 
Good unto me, and especially ye ; 
For I have a mind that every good face 
Hath ever some pity of a poor man's case, 
Being as mine is a matter so right 
That a fool may judge it right at first sight. 
Lover not Loved. Sir, ye may well doubt 

how my wit will serve, 
But my will from right shall never swerve. 
Loved not Loving. Nor mine, and as ye sue 

for help to me, 

Like suit have I to sue for help to ye, 
For as much need have I of help as you. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. I think well that, 

dear heart, but tell me how ! 
Loved not Loving. The case in this : ye 

twain seem in pleasure, 
And we twain in pain ; which pain doth procure, 


1 62 The Play of Love 

By comparison between him and me, 
As great a conflict which of us twain be 
In greatest pain, as is between ye twain [main. 
Which of you twain in most pleasure doth re- 
Wherein we somewhat have here debated, 
And both, to tell truth, so greedily grated 
Upon affection, each to our own side 
That, in conclusion, we must needs provide 
Some such as would and could be indifferent, 
And we both to stand unto that judgment. 
Whereupon, for lack of a judge in this place, 
We sought many places ; and yet, in this case, 
No man could we meet that meddle will or can, 
Till time that we met with this gentleman 
Whom, in like errand, for like lack of aid, 
Was driven to desire our judgment, he said. 

Lover Loved. Forsooth ! it is so, I promis 
ing plain, [plain, 
They twain between us twain giving judgment 
We twain between them twain should judge 
right again. [perform I did not disdain ; 

Neither Lover nor Loved. That promise to 
For, touching right, as I am a righteous man 
I will give you as much right as I can. 

Loved not Loving. Nothing but right de 
sire I you among, 
I willingly will nother give nor take wrong. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Nay, in my 
conscience I think, by this book ! [a-crook. 
Your conscience will take nothing that cometh 
For, as in conscience, whatever ye do, 
Ye nothing do but as ye would be done to, 
O hope of good end ! O Mary mother ! 
Mistress ! one of us may now help another. 
But, sir, I pray you some matter declare 
Whereby I may know in what grief ye are. 

The Play of Love 163 

Lover not Loved. I am a lover not loved, 

which plain 
Is daily not doleful but my deadly pain. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. A lover not loved 

have ye knit that knot? 
Lover not Loved. Yea, forsooth. 
Neither Lover nor Loved. Forsooth ! ye be 

the more sot. 

Now, mistress, I heartily beseech ye 
Tell me what manner case your case may be. 
Loved not Loving. I am beloved not loving, 

I am not in pain but in tormentry. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Is this your 

torment? God turn him to good ! 
Loved not Loving. Nay ! there is another 

man, one me [h]as woed 
As this man on an nother woman is. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Ye think them 

both mad, and do I, by Jys ! 
So mote I thrive, but who that list to mark 
Shall perceive here a pretty piece of wark. 
Let us fall somewhat in these parts to 


Loving not loved, loved not loving, 
Loved and loving, not loving nor loved 
Will ye see these four parts well joined? 
Loving not loved, and loved not loving 
Those parts can join in no manner reckoning ; 
Loving and loved, loved nor lover 
These parts in joining in like wise differ. 
But, in that ye love ye twain joined be; 
[Here Neither Loved nor Loved points to his 

co-disputants as the case may be. 
And, being not loved ye join with me; 
And being no lover with me joineth she; 

M 2 

1 64 The Play of Love 

And being* beloved with her join ye. 
Had I a joiner with me joined jointly, 
We joiners should join joint to joint quickly; 
For, first I would part these parts in sleses, 
And once departed these parted pieces, [part, 
Part and part with part I would so part like 
That each part should part with quiet heart. 
Lover not Loved. Sir, since passeth your 

power that part to play 
Let pass, and let us partly now essay 
To bring some part of that purpose to end 
For which all parties yet in vain attend. 

Loved not Loving. I do desire the same, 

and that we twain 

May first be heard that I may know my pain. 
Lover Loved. I grant for my part, by faith 

of my body ! 

Why, where the devil is this whoreson noddy? 
Neither Lover nor Loved. I never in justice 

but evermore 

I use to be shriven a little before; 
And now, since that my confession is done, 
I will depart and come take penance soon. 
When conscience pricketh, conscience must be 
searched by God [bod ; 

In discharging of conscience, or else God for- 
Which maketh me mets, when conscience must 

come in place, 

To be a judge in every common case ; 
But who may like me, his avancement avaunt, 
Now am I a judge and never was servant, 
Which ye regard not much, by ought that I 
By any reference that ye do to me. [see, 

Nay, yet I praise women; when great men go 

by [they lie : 

They crouch to the ground look here how 

The Play of Love 165 

They shall have a beck by Saint Antony. 
But, alas ! good mistress, I cry you mercy 
That you are unanswered ; but ye may see 
Though two tales at once by two ears heard 

may be, 

Yet cannot one mouth two tales at once answer. 
Which maketh you tarry ; but, in your matter, 
Since ye, by haste, in having furthest home 
Would first be sped of that for which ye come, 
I grant, as he granted your will to fulfil, [will. 
You twain to be heard first begin when you 
Lover not Loved. As these twain us twain 

now grant first to breke 

Since twain to be heard at once cannot speak, 
I now desire your grant that I may open 
First tale, which now is at point to be spoken ; 
Which I crave no whit my part to avance, 
But with the pith to avoid circumstance. 
Loved not Loving. Speak what and when 
soever it please you ; 

Till reason will me, I will not disease you. 
Lover not Loved. Sirs, either here is a very 

weak brain, 

Or she hath, if any, a very weak pain ; 
For, I put case that my love I her gave, 
And that, for my love, her love I did crave; 
For which, though I daily sue day by day, 
What loss or pain to her if she say " Nay " ? 
Neither Lover nor Loved. Yes, by Saint 

Mary ! so the case may stand ; 
That some woman had liever take in hand 
To ride on your errand one hundredth mile 
Than to say " Nay " one Paternoster while. 
Lover not Loved. If ye, on her part, any 

pain define 
Which is the more painful, her pain or mine? 

1 66 The Play of Love 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Your pain is 

most if she say " Nay " and take it; 
But, if that she say " Nay," and forsake it 
Then is her pain a great way the greater. 
Loved not Loving. Sir, ye allege this nay 

in this matter 

As though my denial my suitor to love [move; 
Were all or the most pain that to me doth 
Wherein the truth is a-contrary plain, [pain, 
For, though too oft speaking one thing be a 
Yet is that one word the full of my hoping 
To bring his hoping to despair at ending. 
Thus is this nay, which ye take my most grief, 
Though it be painful yet my most relief. 
But my most pain is all another thing, [ing, 
Which, though ye forget or hide by dissimul- 
I partly showed you, but all I could nor can. 
But, masters ! to you, with pain of this man 
That pain that I compare is partly this 
I am loved of one whom, the truth is, 
I cannot love; and, so it is with me 
That, from him, in manner, I never can flee ; 
And every one word in suit of his part [heart ; 
Nips through mine ears, and runs through my 
His ghastful look, so pale that unneth I 
Dare for mine ears cast toward him an eye; 
And when I do, that eye my thought presenteth 
Straight to my heart, and thus my pain aug- 


One tale so oft, alas ! and so importune ! 
His exclamations, sometime on fortune, 
Sometime on himself, sometime upon me ; 
And for that thing that, if my death should be 
Brought straight in place except I were content 
To grant the same, yet could I not assent; 
And he, seeing this, yet ceaseth not to crave 

The Play of Love 167 

What death could be worse than this life that 
I have? [porteth no more 

Lover not Loved. This tale to purpose pur- 
But sight and hearing; complaint of his sore 
Is only the grief that ye do sustain. 
Alas ! tender heart, since ye die in pain 
This pain to perceive by sight and hearing, 
How could you live to know our pain by feel 
ing ? [can 
Mark well this question, and answer as ye 
A man that is hanged or that man's hangman 
Which man of those twain suff ereth most pain ? 

Loved not Loving. He that is hanged. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. By the mass, it 
is so, plain. [am the sufferer, 

Lover not Loved. Well said for me; for I 
And ye the hangman understand, as it were; 
These cases vary in no manner a thing 
Saving this serves in : this man's hanging 
Commonly is done against the hangman's will, 
And ye, of delightful will, your lover kill. 

Loved not Loving. Of delightful will ! nay, 

that is not so; 

As ye shall perfectly perceive ere we go ! [by 
But of those at whose hanging have hangman 
How many have ye known hang willingly? 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Nay, never one 
in his life, by'r lady ! 

Loved not Loving. In this, lo ! your case 

from our case doth vary ; 

For ye that love, where love will take no place, 
Your own will is your own leader a plain 


And, not only uncompelled, without allure, 
But sore against her will your suit ye endure. 
Now, since your will to love did you procure, 

1 68 The Play of Love 

And with that will ye put that will in ure ; 
And now that will by wit seeth love such pain 
As witty will would will love to refrain ; 
And ye, by will that love in each condition 
To extinct, may be your own physician. 
Except ye be a fool, or would make me one, 
What saying- could set a good ground to sit on 
To make any man think your pain thus strong 
Making your own salve your own sore thus 
long? [this process purposed 

Lover not Loved. Mistress, much part of 
Is matter of truth truly disclosed. 
My will, without her will, brought me in love; 
Which will, without her will, doth make me 


Upon her grace, to see what grace will prove. 
But, where ye say my will may me remove, 
As well from her love as will brought me to it, 
That is false : my will cannot will to do it. 
My will as far therein outweighed my power 
As a sow of lead outweigheth a saffron flower. 

Loved not Loving. Your will outweigheth 

your power, then where is your wit? 
I marvel that ever ye will speak it. 

Lover Loved. Nay, marvel ye mistress 

thereat no whit ! 

For, as far as this point may stretch in verdict, 
I am clearly of this man's opinion. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. And I, contrary, 
with this minion. 

Lover Loved. Then be we come to a de 
murrer in law. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Then be ye come 

from a woodcock to a daw ; 
And, by God ! it is no small cunning, brother, 
For me to turn one wild fool to another. 

The Play of Love 169 

Lover not Loved. Nay, masters, I heartily 

pray you both 

Banish contention till ye see how this goeth. 
I will repeat and answer her tale forthwith, 
The pith for your part whereof pretendeth 
A proof for your pain to be more than mine 
In that my will not only did me incline [will, 
To the same; but, in the same, by the same 
I willingly will to continue still. [bay, 

And, as will brought me, and keepeth in this 
When I will, ye say, will will bring me away. 
Concluding thereby that, if my pain were 
As great as yours, that I should surely bear 
As great and good will to flee my love thus 

As do ye your suitor's presence to absent. 

Loved not Loving. This tale showeth my 
tale perceived every dell. [it as well, 

Lover not Loved. Then, for entry to answer 
Answer this put case : ye as deeply now 
Did love your lover as he doth love you, 
Should not that loving, suppose ye, redress 
That pain which lack of loving doth possess. 

Loved not Loving. Yes. 

Lover not Loved. Since love given to him 

giveth yourself ease, than, 
Except ye love pain why love ye not this man ? 

Loved not Loving. Love him? nay, as I 

said, must I straight choose 
To love him, or else my head here to lose? 
I know well I could not, my life to save, 
With loving will grant him my love to have. 

Lover not Loved. I think ye speak truly, 

for will will not be 

Forced in love, wherefore the same to ye. 
Since this is to you such difficulty, 

170 The Play of Love 

Why not a thing as difficult to me [set, 

To will the let of love, where will my love hath 

As you to will to set love where will is your let? 

Loved not Loving. Well said and put, 

cause it as hard now be 
For you to will to love her, as for me 
To love him ; yet have ye, above me, a mean 
To learn you, at length, to will to leave love 

clean ; [brought 

Which mean many thousands of lovers hath 
From right fervent loving to love right nought ; 
Which long and oft approved mean is absence, 
Whereto when ye will ye may have license, 
Which I crave, and wish, and cannot obtain, 
For he will never my presence refrain. 

Lover not Loved. This is a medicine like 

as ye, would will me [me 

For thing to cure me the thing that would kill 
For presence of her, though I selde when may 


Is solely the medicine that my life doth save. 
Her absence can I with as ill will will 
As I can will to leave to love her still. 
Thus is this will brought in incidently 
No aid in your purpose worth tail of a fly. 
And, as concerning our principal matter, 
All that ye lay may be laid even a water. 
I wonder that shame suffereth you to compare 
With my pain, since ye are driven to declare 
That all your pain is but sight and hearing 
Of him that, as I do, dieth in pain feeling. 
O pain upon pain, what pains I sustain ! 
No craft of the devil can express all my pain ; 
In this body no limb, joint, sinew, nor vein 
But martyreth each other; and this brain, 
Chief enemy of all, by the inventing 

The Play of Love 171 

Mine unsavoury suit to her discontenting; 
My speaking, my hearing, my looking, my 


In sitting, in standing, in waking, or winking, 
Whatever I do, or wherever I go, 
My brain and mishap in all these do me woe. 
As for my senses, each one of all five 
Wondereth as it can to feel itself alive. 
And then hath love gotten all in one bed, 
Himself and his servants to lodge in this 


Vain hope, despair, dread, and audacity, 
Haste, waste, lust, without liking or liberty, 
Diligence, humility, trust, and jealousy, 
Desire, patient sufferance, and constancy, 
These, with other in this head, like swarms of 
Sting in debating their contrarities ; [bees, 
The venom whereof from this head distilleth 
Down to this breast, and this heart it killeth. 
All times in all places of this body 
By this distemperance thus distempered am I ; 
Shivering in cold, and yet in heat I die, 
Drowned in moisture parched parchment dry. 
Neither Lover nor Loved. Cold, hot, moist, 

dry, all in all places at once 
Marry ! sir, this is an ague for the nonce ; 
But, or we give judgment I must search to view 
Whether this evidence be false or true. 
Nay, stand still ! your part shall prove never 

the worse. 

Lo, by saint Saviour ! here is a wet arse, 
Let me feel your nose ; nay, fear not, man ! be 

bold ! [cold, 

Well, though this arse be warm, and this nose 
Yet these twain, by attorney brought in one 


i;2 The Play of Love 

Are, as he saith, cold and wet, both in like 


O, what pain drought is ! see how his dry lips 
Smack for more moisture of his warm moist 

hips ! [is quicker, 

Breathe out, these eyes are dull, but this nose 
Here is most moisture, your breath smelleth 

of liquor ! [opened, in this tale telling 

Loved not Loving. Well, since ye have 
The full of your pain, for speed to ending 
I shall, in few words, such one question dis- 
As if your answer give cause to suppose [close 
The whole of the same to be answered at full; 
We need no judgment for yield myself I will. 
Put case : this man loved a woman ; such one 
Who were in his liking the thing alone, 
And that his love to her were not so mickle, 
But her fancy toward him were as little ; 
And that she hid herself so, day and night, 
That selde time when he might come in her 

sight. [bear, 

And then put case : that one to you love did 
A woman that other so ugly were [Gyb's feast ; 
That each kiss of her mouth called you to 
Or, that your fancy abhorred her so at least 
That her presence were a[s] sweet to suppose 
As one should present. [nose ! 

Neither Lover nor Loved. A turd to his 
Loved not Loving. Yea, in good faith ! 

whereto the case is this, 
That her spiteful presence absent never is. 
Of these two cases if chance should drive you 
To choose one, which would ye choose? tell 
What ye study ! [truth now 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Tarry ! ye be too 
Men be not like women alway ready, [greedy ; 

The Play of Love 173 

Lover not Loved. In good sooth, to tell 

truth, of these cases twain 
Which case is the worst is to me uncertain. 

Loved not Loving. First case of these 
twain I put for your part, [smart; 

And by the last case appeareth mine own 
If they proceed with this first case of ours 
Then is our matter undoubtedly yours ; [fine, 
And if judgment pass with this last case, in 
Then is the matter assuredly mine; 
Since by these cases our parts so do seem 
That which is most painful yourself cannot 
If ye now will all circumstance eschew, [deem. 
Make this question in these cases our issue ; 
And, the pain of these men to abbreviate, 
Set all our other matter as frustrate. 

Lover not Loved. Agreed ! 

Loved not Loving. Then, further, to 

abridge your pain 

Since this our issue appeareth thus plain, 
As folk not doubting your conscience nor cun 

We shall, in the same let, pass all reasoning, 
Yielding to your judgment the whole of my 
part. [with will and good heart. 

Lover not Loved. And I, likewise, mine 

Neither Lover nor Loved. So lo ! make you 
low curtsey to me now, [y u - 

And straight I will make as low curtsey to 
Nay, stand ye near the upper end, I pray ye, 
For the nether end is good enough for me; 
Your cases which include your grief each whit 
Shall dwell in this head. 

Lover Loved. And in mine, but yet, 
Or that we herein our judgment publish, 
I shall desire you that we twain may finish 

174 The Play of Love 

As far in our matter toward judgment 
As ye have done in yours ; to the intent 
That we our parts, brought together thither, 
May come to judgment fro thence together. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. By'r lady, sir, 
and I desire the same ! 

Loved not Loving. I would ye began. 

Lover not Loved. Begin then, in God's 

Lover Loved. Shall I begin ? [name ! 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Since I look but 

for winning 
Give me the end and take you the beginning. 

Lover Loved. Who shall win the end, the 

end at end shall try; 

For my part, whereof now thus begin I, 
I am, as I said, a beloved lover; 
And he no lover nor beloved nother ; 
In which two cases he maketh his avaunt 
Of both our parts to prove his most pleasant ; 
But, be ye assured, by ought I yet see, 
In his estate no manner pleasure can be. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Yes ! two manner 

pleasures ye must needs confess 
First I have the pleasure of quietness, 
And the second is I am contented. 

Lover Loved. That second pleasure, now 

secondly invented, 

To compare with pleasure by contentation 
Is a very second imagination. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Then show your 

wit for proof of this in hand 
How may pleasure without contentation stand ? 

Lover Loved. Pleasure without contentation 

cannot be ; 

But contentation without pleasure we see 
In things innumerable every day; 

The Play of Love 175 

Of all which, mark these which I shall now lay. 
Put case that I, for pleasure of, some friend, 
Or something which I longed to see at end, 
Would be content to ride three score mile this 


And never would bait nor never alight 
I might be right well content to do this, 
And yet, in this doing, no pleasure there is. 
Moreover, ye by patient sufferance 
May be contented with any mischance, 
The loss of your child, friend, or anything 
That in this world to you can belonging 
Wherein ye, contented never so well, 
Yet is your contentation pleasure no dell. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. These two exam 
ples, by aught that I see, 

Be nothing the things that anything touch me. 
With death of my child my being contented, 
Or pain with my friend willingly assented, 
Is not contentation voluntary : 
For that contentation cometh forcibly ; 
But my contentation standeth in such thing 
As I would first wish if it went by wishing. 

Lover Loved. Sir, be ye contented even as 
Yet your contentation can nother excel, [ye tell, 
Nor be compared equal to mine estate; 
For, touching contentation, I am in rate 
As highly contented to love as ye see, 
As ye to forbear love can wish to be. 
Had I no more to say in this argument 
But that I am, as well as you, content, 
Yet hath my part now good approbation 
To match with yours even by contentation. 
But contentation is not all the thing 
That I, for my love, have in recompensing. 
Above contentation pleasures feeling 

176 The Play of Love 

Have I so many, that no wight living 
Can by any wit or tongue the same report. 
O, the pleasant pleasures in our resort ! 
After my being from her any wither 
What pleasures have we in coming together ! 
Each tap on the ground toward me with her 
Doth bath in delight my very heart root ; [foot 
Every twink of her alluring eye 
Reviveth my spirits even throughoutly ; 
Each word of her mouth, not a preparative, 
But the right medicine of preservative; 
We be so jocund and joyfully joined, 
Her love for my love so currently coined, 
That all pleasures earthly, the truth to declare, 
Are pleasures not able with ours to compare. 
This mouth, in manner, receiveth no food ; 
Love is the feeding that doth this body good ; 
And this head despiseth all these eyes winking 
Longer than love doth keep this heart thinking 
To dream on my sweetheart ; love is my feeder, 
Love is my lord, and love is my leader ! 
Of all mine affairs in thought, word, and deed, 
Love is the Christ cross that must be my speed ! 
Neither Lover nor Loved. By this, I per 
ceive well, ye make reckoning 
That love is a goodly and a good thing. 

Lover Loved. Love good ! what ill in love 

canst thou make appear? 
Neither Lover nor Loved. Yes, I shall 

prove this love, at this time meant here, 
In this man's case, as ill as is the devil; 
And, in your case, I shall prove love more evil. 
What tormentry could all the devils in hell 
Devise to his pain that he doth not tell? 
What pain bringeth that body these devils in 
that head 

The Play of Love 177 

Which ministers alway by love are led? 
He freezeth in fire, he drowneth in drought; 
Each part of his body love hath brought about, 
Where each to help other should be diligent, 
They martyr each other the man to torment ; 
That no fiend may torment man in hell more ! 
Without stint of rage his pains be so sore 
And, as in your case, to prove that love is 
Worse than the devil, my meaning is this : 
Love distempereth him by torment in pain, 
And love distempereth you as far in joy plain. 
Your own confession declareth that ye 
Eat, drink, or sleep even as little as he ; 
And he that lacketh any one of those three, 
Be it by joy, or by pain, clear ye see 
Death must be sequel however it be. 
And thus are ye both brought by love's induc 

By pain or by joy, to like point of destruction ; 
Which point approveth love, in this case past, 
Beyond the devil in tormentry to have a cast ; 
For I trow ye find not that the devil can find 
To torment man in hell by any pleasant mind : 
Whereby, as I said, I say of love still 
Of the devil and love, love is the more ill. 
And, at beginning, I may say to you, 
If God had seen as much as I say now 
Love had been Lucifer ; and doubt ye no whit 
But experience now hath taught God such wit 
That, if aught come at Lucifer other than good 
To whip souls on the breech, love shall be the 


And sure he is one that cannot live long, 
For aged folk ye wot well cannot be strong ; 
And another thing his physician doth guess 
That he is infect with the black jaundice. 


1 78 The Play of Love 

Lover Loved. No further than ye be infect 

with folly ! 

For, in all these words no word can I espie 
Such as, for your part, any proof avoucheth. 
Neither Lover nor Loved. For proof of my 

part? no ! but it toucheth 
The disproof of yours ; for where you alleged 
Your part above mine to be compared [such 
By pleasures in which your displeasures are 
That ye eat, drink, nor sleep, or at most not 


In lack whereof my tale proveth plainly 
Each part of your pleasure a tormentry ; 
Whereby your good love I have proved so evil 
That love is apparently worse than the devil. 
And, as touching my part, there can arise 
No manner displeasures nor tormentries 
In that I love not, nor am not loved ; 
I move no displeasures nor none to me moved, 
But all displeasures of love fro me absent, 
By absence whereof I quietly content. 

Lover Loved. Sir, where ye said, and think 

ye have said well, 

That my joy by love shall bring death in sequel, 
In that by the same, in manner, I disdain 
Food and sleep, this proverb answereth you 

plain, [man " 

" Look not on the meat, but look on the 
Now look ye on me and say what ye can. 
Neither Lover nor Loved. Nay, for a time 

love may puff up a thing, 

But lacking food and sleep death is the ending. 
Lover Loved. Well, sir, till such time as 

death approve it 

This part of your tale may sleep every whit, 
And where ye by absent displeasure would 

The Play of Love 179 

Match with my present pleasure ye seem more 

Than wise, for those twain be far different sure. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Is not absence of 
displeasure a pleasure? [pleased; 

Lover Loved. Yes ! in like rate as a post is 
Which, as by no mean it can be diseased 
By displeasure present, so it is true 
That no pleasure present in it can ensue, 
Pleasures or displeasures feeling sensibly. 
A post, ye know well, cannot feel possibly ; 
And, as a post, in this case, I take you, 
Concerning the effect of pleasure in hand now 
For any feeling ye in pleasure endure 
More than ye say ye feel in displeasure. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Sir, though the 

effect of your pleasure present 
Be more pleasant than displeasure absent, 
Yet how compare ye with mine absent pain 
By present displeasures in which ye remain? 

Lover Loved. My present displeasures? I 
know none such. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Know ye no pain 
by love, little nor much? 

Lover Loved. No. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Then shall I 

show such a thing in this purse 
As shortly shall show herein your part the 

worse [looks in purse]. 

Now, I pray God, the devil in hell blind me ! 
By the mass ! I have left my book behind me. 
I beseech our lord, I never go hence 
If I would not rather have spent forty pence ! 
But since it is thus I must go fetch it, 
I will not tarry, a, sir ! the devil stretch it ! 

Lover Loved. Farewell, dawcock ! 

N 2 

i8o The Play of Love 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Farewell, wood- 

Lover Loved. He is gone. [cock ! 

Loved not Loving. Gone, yea ! but he will 
come again anon. [more disease you ; 

Lover Loved. Nay, this night he will no 
Give judgment heartily even when it please 
you ; [shall 

Which done, sith he is gone, myself straight 
Righteously between you give judgment final. 
But lord ! what a face this fool hath set here 
Till shame defaced his folly so clear ; 
That shame hath shamefully, in sight of you all, 
With shame driven hence to his shameful fall. 
Wherein, although I nought gain by winning 
That aught may augment my pleasure in lov- 
Yet shall I win thereby a pleasure to see [ing, 
That ye shall see the matter pass with me : 
What though the profit may lightly be loaden 
It grieveth a man to be overtrodden. 
Nay, when I saw that his winning must grow 
By pain pretending in my part to show, 
Then wist I well the noddy must come 
To do as he did, or stand and play mum. 
No man, no woman, no child in this place 
But I durst for judgment trust in this case ; 
All doubt of my pain by his proof by any mean 
His running away hath now scraped out clean. 
Wherefore, give judgment, and I shall return 
In place hereby where my dear heart doth so- 
And, after salutation between us had, [journ ; 
Such as is meet to make lovers' hearts glad, 
I shall to rejoice her in merry tidings 
Declare the whole rabble of this fool's lesynges. 
[Here the Vice cometh in running suddenly 
about the place among the audience 'with 
a high fropper tank] on his head full of 

The Play of Love 181 

squibs fired crying, water! water! fire! 
fire! fire! water! water! fire! till the 
fire in the squibs be spent. 
Lover Loved. Water and fire ! 
Neither Lover nor Loved. Nay, water for 
fire, I mean. [out now clean ! 

Lover Loved. Well, thanked be God, it is 
How came it there? [gfi n K 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Sir, as I was 
To fetch my book, for which was my departing, 
There chanced in my way a house hereby 
To fire, which is burned piteously; 
But marvellously the people do moan 
For a woman, they say a goodly one, 
A sojourner, whom in this house burned is ; 
And shouting of the people for help in this 
Made me run thither to have done some good ; 
And, at a window thereof, as I stood 
I thrust in my head, and even at a flush 
Fire flashed in my face and so took my bush. 
Lover Loved. What house? 
Neither Lover nor Loved. A house painted 

with red ochre, 

The owner whereof they say is a broker. 
Lover Loved. Then, break heart ! alas, 

why live I this day? 
My dear heart is destroyed, life and wealth 

away ! 
Neither Lover nor Loved. What, man ! sit 

down and be of good cheer ! 
God's body ! Master Woodcock is gone clear. 
O Master Woodcock ! fair mot befal ye ; [ye. 
Of right, Master Woodcock, I must now call 
Masters ! stand you here afore and rub him, 
And I will stand here behind and dub him; 
Nay, the child is asleep, ye need not rock 

1 82 The Play of Love 

Master Woodcock, Master Wood-Wood- 
Woodcock ! 

Where folk be far within a man must knock ; 
Is not this a pang, trow ye, beyond the nock? 
Speak Master Woodcock ! speak parrot, I 

pray ye ! 

My leman, your lady, aye will ye see; 
My lady, your leman, one undertakes 
To be safe from fire by slipping through a 

Lover Loved. That word I heard but yet I 

see her not. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. No more do I, 
Master Woodcock, our lord wot. [see her 
Lover Loved. Unto that house where I did 
I will seek to see her, and if she be past 
So that to appear there I cannot make her, 
Then will I burn after and overtake her. 

[The Lover Loved goeth out. 
Neither Lover nor Loved. Well, ye may 

burn together for all this, 
And do well enough for aught that is yet amiss. 
For God's sake ! one run after and baste him, 
It were great pity the fire should waste him ; 
For, being fat, your knowledge must record 
A woodcock well roast is a dish for a lord ; 
And, for a woodcock ye all must now know him 
By matter of record that so doth show him. 
And briefly to bring you all out of doubt, 
All this have I feigned to bring about, 
Himself to convince himself even by act 
As he hath done here in doing this fact, [now 
He taketh more thought for this one woman 
Than could I for all in the world, I make avow ; 
Which hath so shamefully defaced his part 
That to return nother hath he face nor heart ; 

The Play of Love 183 

Which seen, whilst he and she lose time in 


Give ye with me judgment a God's blessing. 
[The Lover Loved returneth. 
Lover Loved. The proof of my saying at 
my first entry [lied 

That wretch bringeth now in place in that I 
Dissembling man's mind by appearance to be 
Thing inconvenient, which thing, as I said 
Is proved now true, how was I dismayed 
By his false facing the death of my darling 
Whom, I thank God ! is in health and aileth 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Sir, I beseech 

you, of all your dismaying, 

What other cause can ye lay than your loving? 

Lover Loved. My loving ! nay, all the cause 

was your lying, [done if ye had not loved. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. What had my lie 

Lover Loved. What did my love till your lie 

was moved. 
Neither Lover nor Loved. By these two 

questions it seemeth we may make 
Your love and my lie to part evenly the stake. 
Loving and lying have we brought now hither 
Lovers and liars to lay both together 
But put case my lie of her death were true 
What excuse for your love could then ensue? 
Lover Loved. If fortune, God save her ! 

did bring her to it 

The fault were in fortune and in love no whit. 
Neither Lover nor Loved. The whole fault 

in fortune? by my sheth well ye! 
God send your fortune better than your wit ! 

Lover Loved. Well, sir, at extremity I can 
The fault in fortune as much as in love, [prove 

184 The Play of Love 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Then fortune in 

like case with love now join you, 
As I with loving" joined lying even now ; 
And well they may join all, by aught that I see, 
For each of all three I -'take like vanity. 
But, sirs, ye confess that your part of such pain 
Cometh half by love, and that it is certain 
That certain pains to loved lovers do move, 
In which the fault in nothing save only love; 
As dread and jealousy each of which, with mo, 
To your estate of love is a daily foe ; 
And I clear out of love declaring such show 
As in my case no pain to me can grow 
I say this considered hath pith sufficient 
In proof of my part to drive you to judgment. 
Lover Loved. Nay, first a few words, sir, 
though I confess [painless, 

That love bringeth some pain, and your case 
By mean of your contented quietness, 
Yet th 'actual pleasures that I possess 
Are as far above the case that ye profess 
As is my pain in your imagination 
Under the pleasures of contentation. 
Thus weighed how ye will, one way or other, 
If ye win one way ye shall lose another ; 
But if ye intend for end to be brief 
Join with me herein for indifferent prefe. 
A tree, ye know well, is a thing that hath life 
And such a thing as never feeleth pain nor 
But ever quiet and alway contented ; [strife, 
And, as there can no way be invented 
To bring a tree displeasure by feeling pain, 
So no feeling pleasure in it can remain. 
A horse is a thing that hath life also, [woe, 
And he, by feeling, feeleth both wealth and 
By driving or drawing all day in the mire, 

The Play of Love 185 

Many painful journeys hath he in hire, 
But after all those he hath alway at night 
These pleasures following to his great delight 
First fair washed at a river or a weir ; [fair ; 
And straight brought to a stable, warm and 
Dry rubbed, and chafed from head to heel, 
And curried till he be slick as an eel ; 
Then is he littered in manner nose high, 
And hay as much as will in his belly; [bread, 
Then provender hath he, either peas, beans or 
Which feeding in feeling as pleasant to his 
As to a covetous man to behold, [head 

Of his own, Westminster Hall full of gold ; 
After which feeding, he sleepeth in quiet rest 
During such time as his meat may digest 
All this considered, a horse or a tree 
If ye must choose the one which would ye be? 

Neither Lover nor Loved. When the horse 

must to labour, by our lady ! 
I had liever be a tree than a horse I ! 

Lover Loved. But how when he resteth and 
filleth his gorge? 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Then would I be 
a horse and no tree, by Saint George ! 

Lover Loved. But what if ye must needs 
stick to the one? 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Which were 
then best, by the mass ! I can name none. 

Lover Loved. The first case is yours, and 

the next is for me : 
In case like a tree I may liken ye; 
For, as a tree hath life without feeling 
Whereby it feeleth pleasing nor displeasing, 
And cannot be but contented quietly, 
Even the like case is yours now presently. 
And, as the horse feeleth pain and not the tree, 

1 86 The Play of Love 

Likewise I have pain and no pain have ye. 
And, as a horse above a tree feeleth pleasure, 
So feel I pleasure above you in rate sure; 
And, as the tree feeleth nother, and the horse 
both, [goeth. 

Even so pleasure and pain between us twain 
Since these two cases so indifferently fall 
That yourself can judge, nother for partial, 
For indifferent end I think this way best : 
Of all our reasoning 1 to debar the rest 
And in these two cases this one question 
To be the issue that we shall join on. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Be it so ! 

Lover Loved. Now are these issues chosed 

so nigh 
That both sides, I trust, shall take end shortly. 

Lover not Loved. I hope and desire the 

same, and since we 

Were first heard, we both humbly beseech ye, 
That we in like wise may have judgment first. 

Lover Loved. I grant. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. By the mass ! 
and I come best or worst. 

Lover Loved. Though nature force man 

stiffly to incline 

To his own part in each particular thing, [mine 
Yet reason, would man, when man shall deter- 
Other men's parts by indifferent awarding, 
Indifferent to be in all his reasoning ; 
Wherefore, in this part cut we off affection, 
So that indifferency be our direction. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Contented with 

that, and by ought I espy 
We may, in this matter, take end quickly. 
Scan we their cases as she did apply them 
That we may perceive what is meant by them. 

The Play of Love 187 

He loveth unloved a goodly one 
She is loved, not loving, of an ugly one; 
Or, in his eye his lover seemeth goodly, 
And in her eye her lober seemeth as ugly ; 
Her most desired angel's face he cannot see, 
His most lotely hell-hound's face she cannot 


He loveth, she abhorreth; whereby presence is 
His life, her death ; whereby I say even this, 
Be his feelings pains in every degree, 
As great and as many, as he saith they be, 
Yet in my judgment by these cases hath she 
As great and as many feeling pains as he. 
Lover Loved. When matter at full is in 
differently laid 

As ye in this judgment have laid this now, 
What reason the time by me should be delayed ? 
Ye have spoken my thought; wherefore, to 


In peasing your pains my conscience doth allow 
A just counterpoise, and thus your pains be 
A-judged by us twain one pain in degree. 
Lover not Loved. Well, since your con 
science driveth you thus to judge, [grudge. 
I receive this judgment without grief or 
Loved not Loving. And I, in like rate, 

yielding unto you twain. 

Hearty thanks for this your undeserved pain. 
Lover nor Loved. Now, mistress, may it 

please you to declare, 

As touching their parts, of what mind ye are. 
Loved not Loving. With right good will, 
sir, and sure I suppose [well. 

Their parts in few words may come to point 
The two examples, which he did disclose, 
All errors or doubts do clearly expel. 

1 88 The Play of Love 

The estate of a tree his estate doth tell ; 
And, of the horse, his tale well understand 
Declareth as well his case now in hand. 
For, as nothing can please or displease a tree, 
By any pleasure or displeasure feeling, 
Nor never bring a tree discontent to be, 
So like case to him not loved nor loving 
Love can no way bring pleasing or displeasing : 
Live women, die women, sink women, or 


In all the content, for all is one to him. 
And, as a horse hath many painful journeys, 
A lover best loved hath pains in likewise; 
As here hath appeared by sundry ways ; 
Which showeth his case in worst part to arise. 
But then, as the horse feeleth pleasure in sise, 
At night, in the stable above the tree, 
So feeleth he some pleasure as far above ye. 
In some case he feeleth much more pleasure 

than ye ; [less ; 

And, in some case, he feeleth even as much 
Between the more and the less it seemeth to me 
That, between their pleasures no choice is to 

guess : 

Wherefore, I give judgment in short process 
Set the one pleasure even to the other. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Womanly spoken, 

mistress, by the rood's mother ! 
Lover not Loved. Who heareth this tale 

with indifferent mind, 

And seeth, of these twain, each one so full bent 
To his own part, that nother in heart can find 
To change pleasures with other, must needs 

assent [ment : 

That she in these words hath given right judg- 
In affirmance whereof I judge and award 

The Play of Love 189 

Both these pleasures of yours as one in regard. 

Lover Loved. Well, since I think ye both 

without corruption, 
I shall move no matter of interruption. 

Neither Lover nor Loved. Nor I ! but mis 
tress, though I say naught in this 
May I not think my pleasure more than his? 

Loved not Loving. Affection unbridled may 

make us all think 

That each of us hath done other wrong ; 
But, where reason taketh place it cannot sink, 
Since cause to be partial here is none us among. 
That one head that would think his one wit so 


That on his judges he might judgment devise, 
What judge in so judging could judge him 
wise? [contenteth me. 

Lover Loved. Well, mine estate right well 

Neither Lover nor Loved. And I, with mine 
as well content as ye. [wise be contented 

Lover not Loved. So should ye both like- 
Each other to see content in such degree 
As, on our parts, our judgment hath awarded ; 
Your neighbour in pleasure like yourself to be ; 
Gladly to wish Christ's precept both bind ye : 
Thus contentation should alway prefer 
One man to joy the pleasure of another. 

Lover Loved. True ! and contentation may 

be in like case 

Although no health yet help and great relief 
In both your pains ; for, ye having such grace 
To be contented in sufferance of grief 
Shall, by contentation, avoid much mischief, 
Such as the contrary shall surely bring you 
Pain to pain as painful as your pain is now. 
Thus, not we four, but all the world beside 

IQO The Play of Love 

Knowing themself or other in joy or pain, 
Hath need of contentation for a guide; 
Having joy or pain content let us remain 
In joy or pain of other, flee me disdain ! 
Be we content, wealth or woe, and each for 
Rejoice in the one and pity the other, [other 
Lover not Loved. Since such contentation 

may hardly accord 

In such kind of love as here hath been meant, 
Let us seek the love of that loving Lord 
Who, to suffer passion for love was content; 
Whereby His lovers, that love for love assent, 
Shall have in fine above contentation 
The feeling pleasure of eternal salvation. 
Which Lord of Lords, whose joyful and blessed 
Is now remembered by time presenting [birth 
This accustomed time of honest mirth 
That Lord we beseech in most humble meaning 
That it may please Him, by merciful hearing, 
The state of this audience long to endure 
In mirth, health, and wealth, to grant His 


Printed at London in Farster Laen 

by Johan Waley. 
Cum priuilegio ad imprimendum solum. 



Interlocutors : 





[ The introduction is lost : little, however , can be missing] 

John. A marvellous matter, merciful lord, 
If reason with this conclusion accord, 
Better to be a fool, than a wise man. 

James. Better or worse, I say as I began, 
Better is for man that may be witless 
Than witty. 

John. Ye show some witty wittiness. [true, 

James. Experience shall witness my tale 
And for temporal wealth let us first view : 
And that experience may show the truer, 
Accept we reason to be our viewer, 
In which reason by experience we know 
That folk most witty, to whom there doth grow 
By friends dead before, nought left them be- 
Nor by living friends no living assign, [hind, 
Except they will starve, their finding must they 


By much pain of body or more pain of mind. 
And as for the witless, as who saith the sot, 
The natural fool call'd or th 'idiot : [strain, 
From all kinds of labour that doth pain con- 
As far as sufficiency needeth obtain, 
In surety of living the sot doth remain, [pain, 

John. In surety of living, but not without 
For admit all sots in case as be many 

J o 

194 Witty and Witless 

That live without labour, yet where is any 

But for that one pleasure, he hath more pain 

Than the witty worker in all doth sustain. 

What wretch so feareth pain having any wit 

Like the witless wretch ? none ! if ye mark 

Who cometh by the sot who cometh he by [hit ; 

That vexeth him not some way usually. 

Some beat him, some bob him, 

Some joll him, some job him, 

Some tug him by the arse, 

Some lug him by the ears, 

Some spit at him, some spurn him, 

Some toss him, some turn him, 

Some snap him, some scratch him, 

Some cramp him, some cratch him, 

Some cuff, some clout him, 

Some lash him, some lout him, 

Some whisse him, some whip him, 

With sharp nails some nip him, [fool, 

Not even Master Somer, the king's grace's 

But tasteth some time some nips of new school. 

And beside this kind of frettling p'suming, 

Another kind of torment in consuming 

The witty to the witless oft Invent, 

After Invention of yer full intent. 

The fool of flattery to torment is brought, 

So far over joy 'd, and his brain so wide 


That by joy of a jewel scant worth a mite 
The sot oft sleepeth no wink in a whole night ; 
And for ensample with a Walsingham ring, 
This distemperance to the sot ye may bring, 
And make him joy therein as it were a thing 
Of price to pay the ransom of a king. 
In joying whereof, if any man got way, 
To get it from him as every child may, 

Witty and Witless 195 

Then man and child seeth the sot in such case 
That nought but painful sorrow taketh any 


By these small proofs a small wit may guess 
That wide were the witty to wish them witless. 
James. Th 'effect of this your matter as ye 

speak it, 

Standeth much in two points as I take it, 
Of which twain the tone is, that the sot hath 
By jolling and jobbing and other like scath, 
Extreme pain with extremity of yer ; 
Th 'other is after fretting furious fire, 
That the fool with each fruitless trifling toy 
Is so distempered with distemperate joy, 
That as much pain bringeth his pleasant 

passion, [fashion : 

As doth the pinching of his most painful 
These two points considered, the sot as ye say, 
Hath some pain sometime, but most times I 

say nay. [witless are brought. 

John. Then from no pain to some pain the 
James. Yea, but witty and witless wittily 


By some pain to such pain that witty feel most, 
Then witty and witless each part his part boast ; 
Take, of witty the degrees, and number all, 
And of that number I think the number small 
But that each one of them is of need assigned 
To labour sore, in body or else in mind ; 
And few to all that fortune so doth favour 
But in body and mind both they do labour, 
And of body these labours the most painfullest 
Is the labour of mind, I have heard guessed. 
And lest both pains or most of twain be too 

tough [enough ; 

For you to matcK with, and the least pain 

O 2 

196 Witty and Witless 

To the first most pain of the witless noddy, 
Join we the wittiest least pain, pain of body; 
Who seeth what pain labour bodily bringeth, 
Shall easily see thereby, how the body 
wringeth ; [ing, 

Husbandmen's ploughing, or earing and sow- 
Hedging and ditching, with reaping and mow 
ing ; 

In carting such lifting, such burdens bearing, 
That pain of the body bringeth these to staring ; 
And much of this done in time of such het 
That in cold cave covered the carcase must 
sweat. [small, 

Some other use crafts in which work is so 
That in summer pleasantly they live all, [wark, 
Who in winter when husbandmen warm with 
In that they may not stir, for cold are even 


Some in winter freeze, some in summer fry, 
And the witless doth neither, for commonly 
Other with worshipful or honourable, 
He temperately standeth in house at the table ; 
And of all his labours reckon the whole rabble, 
Bigger burden beareth he none than his babble ; 
So that from these pains, or the like received, 
The witless hath warrant to be acquitted. 
And sure the sot's pleasure in this last acquittal 
Countervailed his pain, in your first recital, 
For unto the sot's nipping and beating, 
Join the witty labourer's nips and fretting, 
And whether ye count by year, month, or week, 
Ye shall find these of the witty to seek, 
As far as of the witless ; and of both sorts 
This is the difference ; that to me imports [self. 
Sots are coiled of other, the witty coileth him- 
What choice thus alleged ? 

Witty and Witless 197 

John. Small, ah whoreson elf ! 
Somewhat he toucheth me now in very deed ! 
Howbeit to this am not I yet full agreed ; 
The witty who beat themselves by business, 
May oft in beating favour themselves I guess ; 
Such opportunity by wit is oft espied, 
That labour by wit is oft qualified, 
In taking time or place as best may stand, 
Most easily to dispatch things coming in hand. 
Wit hath provision alway for relief. 
To provide some remedy against mischief ; 
Witty take business as witty will make it, 
And as witty beat witless, witless must take it. 
James. Take it how ye list, ye can make it 

no less, 

But witty have such pain as my words witness ; 
For though wit for time sometime may pain 


Yet in most times their foresaid pain is present, 
Which pain in the witty wittily weighed, 
May match pain of the witless by ye first laid ; 
And to the second point for distemperate joys, 
By having or hoping of fancies or toys, 
In witless or witty both take I as one, [on, 

For though the things that witty have or hope 
Are in some kind of account; things much 
greater [better, 

Than things of the sot's joyings, yet no whit 
Nor less pain bringeth that passion, but indif 

To both, except witty have the worse torment. 
Think you aright, good witty having clearly 
A thousand pound suddenly given him yearly, 
Who before that hour might dispend no penny, 
Nor till that hour never looked for any, 
Might not joy as much that sudden receiving, 

198 Witty and Witless 

As joyeth the sot receipt of his Walsingham 


And thereby be kept from quiet sleep a week, 
As well as the ring maketh the sot sleep to 
And in a sudden losing that gift again, [seek ; 
Might not the witty be pressed with pain 
As deep as the witless, his ring stolen or lost? 
And though this ensample chance seeld when 

at most, 

Yet sometime it happeth, and daily we see 
That folk far from witless passioned be, 
By joyful hope of things to them like to hap, 
Or having of things pleasant late light in the 


As much to their unrest ; for distemperancy 
As ye showed the witless restless formerly, 
And oft-time, for cause considered and weighed 
As light as your Walsingham ring aforesaid. 
Wit in witty hath seeled such perfection, 
To bring disposition full in abjection ; 
And the difference of disposition is such, 
Some wits hope too little, some wits hope too 


By which overmuch I say, and say must ye, 
That witty and witless one in this case be. 
And thus in both cases, reasoning cause 


Cause to conclude, that to the witty groweth 
As much pain, as to the witless; whereby, 
As good be witless, as witty, say I ! 

John. That conclusion is concluded wisely ! 
Your prime proposition did put precisely 
Better to be witless than witty, and now 
As good to be witless as witty say you ! 
But that wit which puts case in degree com 

Witty and Witless 199 

And concludeth case in degree positive, 
Shall not in that case claim degree superlative ! 
James. Ye pass in this taunt your preroga 
tive; [ning, 
But that wit which boasteth the full of his win- 
As though he knew th' end of thing at begin 

That wit shall show witless impediment, 
To be taken witty with wits excellent; [midst, 
I conclude here not for th' end, but for the 
Which, if ye will hear to end, as reason bids, 
Ye shall perceive ; and also condescend 
To grant me thanks then in that I intend. 
Your fall by fierce handling to be the more fair, 
To set ye down featly, stair after stair ; 
And so by a fair figure of induction, 

To bring your part soft and fair to destruction ; 
For where ye grant fully, for aught your words 


That as much pain witty as witless do take, 
So from this midst to the end I shall prove, 
That most pain of twain to the witless doth 
For as I load equally pains of body [move : 

To witty and witless, likewise will I 
Overload the witty with pain of mind, 
In matter as plain as can be assigned 
Which pain of mind in meet measure to weigh, 
Is more painful than pain of body I say. 

John. Ye say so ; and said so, but so said 

not I ! 

Nor say it not yet, but that saying deny ; 
And till saying prove your saying more plainly, 
I will assay to say the contrary I 
I think pains of body counted in each kind, 
May compare with all kinds of pains of mind. 
James. If ye assuredly think as ye say now, 

200 Witty and Witless 

I think ye think as few men think but you I 
Howbeit, that being but an incident, 
To principal purpose presently meant ; 
Yet that exception took you wittily, 
For had ye granted that, as ye shall shortly, 
Then forthwith should our principal process, 
Have concluded in the part that I profess : 
For a mean, whereunto as measure may 
Meet unmeasurabde things, as who say 
Join in like proportion, as may be meant, 
The mean labourer to the mean student ; 
And ye shall anon find the student's pain, 
More painful than the labourer's labour plain. 
John. The student's pain is oft pleasantly 


In feeling what fruit by his study is fixed. 
James. The labourer's labour quitteth that 

at a whip, 

In feeling the fruit (of) his workmanship; 
As much delight carters oft have in carts neat 


As do students in books with gold neat limned : 
And as much envy who may drive his cart best, 
As among students who may seem learned 


Whereby inward delight to toll forth each part, 
Seemeth me indifferent to art, or to cart ! 
And further, mean labour in most common 
wise, [cise, 

Is most part handsome, and wholesome exer- 
That purgeth humours to man's life and quick 

Which study breedeth to man's death or sick 

Also, most kinds of labour, most commonly 
Strene most gross outward parts of the body ; 

Witty and Witless 201 

Where study, sparing shoulders, fingers, and 


To the head and heart directly study goes. 
Pervert is your judgment if ye judge not plain, 
That less is the peril, and less is the pain, 
The knocking of knuckles which fingers doth 

strain, [brain? 

Than digging in the heart, or drying of the 

John. For common mean kinds in both parts 

now laid, 

I see not but reason saith as ye have said. 
James. The labour of body and mind thus 


In what degrees ye can ; devise to declare 
Between both, being not knit in such degree 
But that th'one from th 'other separate may 


And that both labours in joining ye arecte 
As like in degree as wit may conject, 
And both ones searched, search shall make 


In labour of mind the worst pain doth arise. 
John. Methinketh I could make it otherwise 


Save I lack time to dilate matter here : 
For time of reasoning would be long therein, 
And time of reasoning must be short herein : 
Which weighed with that, this standeth but in- 
To our present purpose principally : [cidently 
I grant to agree, as ye have defined, 
Of labour of body and labour of mind, 
That labour or pain of mind is the greater : 
And this now granted, what be ye the better? 
James. So much the better, and you so much 

the worse, [purse, 

That ye may now put your tongue in your 

202 Witty and Witless 

For any word in defence your tongue shall tell ! 
After these my next words, give ear and mark 


This labour of mind, which we now agree 
Above labour of body we must decree, 
To join sole to the witty ; for possibly 
Cannot the witless take part of that pain. 
John. Why? [tion 

James. How can he have pain by imagina- 
That lacketh all kinds of consideration? 
And in all sense is so insufficient [be meant 
That nought can he think, in ought that may 
By any mean to devise any self thing, 
Nor device in thing, past present or coming. 
No more hath he in mind, either pain or care, 
Than hath other Cock-my-horse, or Gyll-my- 
mare ! [penses ; 

This cause, with witless, pain of mind dis- 
But the witty, having all vital senses, 
Hath thereby an inward clock, which mark 
who will, [still. 

May oft-times go false, but it never standeth 
The plummets of that clock come never to 


Imagination is watch, and goeth so round, 
To which consideration giveth so quick ear, 
That in the witty mind the restless rest is there. 
A small wit may guess, no one wit can deem 
How many, or how much are their pains ex 
treme, [breast. 
Nor how many contrary kinds in some one 
If ye perceive this tale, ye see it witnessed 
Three things ; of which the first is, that the 


Off labour or pain of mind have release; 
The second is, that the witty have in dure 

Witty and Witless 203 

All pains of mind, and that wit doth that pro 

Thirdly I glanced at pain of mind, alluding 
That pain to be most pain. As in for conclud- 
Perceive ye this? [ing, 

John. Yea ! and grant it true, too ! 
James. Then must ye grant witty to have 

most pain. 
John. So I do ! 
James. If witty have most pain of twain, 

ye must say 

Better to be witless than witty. 
John. Nay ! 
James. I say, yes ! 

John. I say, nay ! and will so inveigh, 
That I will hold ye wag another way. 
As I grant witty of twain most pain endure, 
So will I prove witty to have most pleasure : 
Which pleasure shall both drown the wittiest 


And the pleasure in which the witless remain. 
James. This promise will hardly bring good 

payment ; 

For it is a strange kind of argument, 

To prove him in most pleasure who hath most 

pain, [sustain. 

Or him in least pain who least pleasure doth 

John. Let us reason all pleasure on both 

sides, [vides. 

And then let that side have best that best pro- 

James. All pleasures on both sides ! that 

were a thing 

To make us make end to-morrow morning ! 
John. As now the best part of my part 
cometh on, [g n e ! 

Ye make marvellous haste, ye would fain be 

204 Witty and Witless 

James. Right now yourself could weigh in 

right witty sort, [short. 

That reasoning here now, of reason must be 

John. It shall be short enough if ye take 


All that part, that for my part, effect doth lay. 
James. I will nother take away all, nor take 
all ; [shall 

But for a mean between both, myself straight 
Allege not pleasures all I say, but such one 
As overweigheth other pleasures everyone : 
Which pleasure where it is fine doth not re 

All pleasures in all parts are pleasures but vain, 
Of which one pleasure the witless are sure ever, 
And of that pleasure, witty are sure never ! 
John. What pleasure is that? 
James. Pleasure of salvation ! 
I think yourself will affirm affirmation 
That from our forefathers sin original, 
Baptism sealeth us all acquittance general ; 
And faith of infants, while they infants abide, 
In faith of parents for the church is supplied : 
Whereby till wit take root of discerning, 
And between good and ill give perfect warning, 
Wherever innocents, innocency dispute, 
For thoughts, words, or deeds, God doth none 

ill impute. 
Where God giveth no discerning, God taketh 

none account ; 

In which case of account, the sot doth amount ; 
For no more discerneth the sot, at years three 
score, [before. 

Than th 'innocent born within years three 
This short saying, if ye in mind revolve, 
Then shall this long debate forthwith dissolve. 

Witty and Witless 205 

John. Sir, I grant sots shall be saved as ye 

And safe shall witty be too ; if they do well. 

James. If they do well ! that if altereth 

Th 'effect of my sentence to witless ! [much, lo, 

John. How so? [a doubt, 

James. That if laid for the witty purporteth 

But all doubts in the witless are scraped clean 

out : 

Sans doubt the witless is sure of salvation; 
Whereby to conclude this communication, 
Make witty sure of all pleasures can be laid, 
Doubting lack of none, but this one pleasure 

last said, 

And of all pleasures witless to have none, 
Saving he standeth in surety of this one, 
Is not the surety of this one much better, 
Than of the rest, though the number be greater. 
John. Yes ! [hys, 

James. Like as a goose can say nothing but 
So hath he now nothing to say but yes ! 
And in affirming my saying, he saith this, 
In which he granteth his part not partly amiss, 
But all amiss ! as who saith in all places, 
The sum whereof in both parts standeth in 
three cases : [thus 

Off which three th 'argument of the first was 
In laborious pain of body to discuss 
Who suffereth more, the witty or the sot : 
In which, by both assents, we knit this knot, 
That as much pain of body in effect hath the 


As th 'other, concluding thus far thereupon, 
As good to be witless, as witty ; and then 
We argued labour or pain of mind in men : 
Wherein I driving him to grant pain of mind 

206 Witty and Witless 

More than pain or labour bodily defined ; 
In the second case, I pain of mind proving 
To witty, and not to witless to be moving ; 
Drave him to grant further, that by that pain 
Better without wit, than with wit to remain. 
Now in this third case, where ye made a brag, 
By pleasures in the witty to hold me wag ; 
And pleasures of the witless to overwhelm, 
I staming in with him, stack so to the helm, 
That his part finally to shipwreck is brought ! 
The surety of all pleasures in this world 


Match not the surety of pleasure eternal ! 
And the state of sots have none account so 


That God imputeth any ill to them I say. 
And the wittiest account augmenteth every day, 
And th 'auditors wit who shall take th 'account 

so clear, 

He forgeth not one word in a thousand year ! 
What need mo words, I think the least wit 


Seeth these three cases on my side appear 
That in the two first cases temporally, 
And in this third and last case spiritually, 
Is seen fully I may conclude finally, 
Better to be witless than to be witty. [lady ! 
John. So say I now too, by our blessed 
I give up my part, and your part plainly 
Of witty and witless I wish now rather, 
That my child may have a fool to his father ! 
The pith of your conclusions be all so pure, 
That better be a fool than a wise man sure ! 
Jerome. Not so ! although your fancy do 

so surmise; 
Not better for man to be witless than wise ; 

Witty and Witless 207 

Nor so good to be witless as witty nother, 
Thus is your wit deceived in other. 

John. Why, what difference between wise 
and witty? [wisdom and folly. 

Jerome. As much sometime as between 

John. Man can in no wise be wise without 
wit. [and wisdom nought ! 

Jerome. No ! and man may have great wit 
Wit is the worker of all perceiving, 
And indifferent to good or ill working; 
And as much wit may be in things of most ill, 
As in the best things wit can aspire until ; 
In virtue or vice I mean : wit hath receipt 
Off none ill ; where wit upon wisdom doth wait, 
Wisdom governeth wit alway, virtue to use, 
And all kinds of vice alway to refuse. 
Thus is wisdom in good part taken always, 
And guideth wit in all things being things of 
praise ; [ground, 

Thus, though ye must (as ye need not) grant his 
Which is : better witless than witty to be 


Yet as much as wisdom above wit showeth, 
So much granted ye him, more than of need 
groweth. [fresh commoner, 

James. This is some young schoolman, a 
Heard ye the principal that planted this jar? 

Jerome. I heard all ! 

James. And doth not all on my side fall? 

Jerome. No, if ye had reasoned as I shall. 

James. If ye, as ye say, have heard all he 


And that is that saying have so widely weighed, 
To weigh my part worst herein in conclusion, 
Then are ye witless, that we two talked on. 
But babble your will, this will I bid upon; 

208 Witty and Witless 

Better be sot Somer than sage Solomon ! 

Jerome. Give ye sentence, or ye hear what 

I can say, * 
Lo ! how will carrieth him and his wit away. 

John. Sir, if ye heard all, in my part how 

What did I grant him to far, show I pray ye. 

Jerome. All that ye granted willingly. 

John. Nay, I trow. 

Jerome. Ye shall when we have done, not 

trow, but know 

For entry whereto, I pray ye answer me 
A question or twain, or mo' if need be. 
And first unto this answer as ye can, 
Whether would ye be a reasonable man, 
Or an unreasonable beast? 

John. Buy and sell ! [and hell, 

I would be the simplest man between heaven 
Rather than the best beast that ever was bred ! 
Then if ye of one of the twain must be sped, 
Ye would be a maltman, ye a miller, 
Rather than a mill-horse? 

John. Be ye my well wilier? 

Jerome. Yea ! [man ! fye ! 

John. Speak no more of this then, what 
I would not be a beast, for all this world, I ! 
Were it for nought else but for this life present. 

Jerome. The time of this life indeed I mean 

and meant. 

But tell me why, by your faith, even plainly, 
Ye will not change estate with the mill-horse? 

John. Why, there be whys and wherefores 

I think a thousand 

In count of two kinds of things coming in hand, 
Sensible pleasure, and sensible pain ; 
And, first for pain, sustained in these twain, 

Witty and Witless 209 

Begin with the mill-horse whom ye put for 


Or any like beast sustaining the like grief, 
An or I would take the pain the poor beasts 
take, [stake ! 

I would each day be twigged and tied to a 
Carrying fro the mill, carrying to the mill, 
Drawing in the mill, poor jade he jetteth still ! 
Amble he, trot he, go he a foot pace, 
Wallop he, gallop he, rack he in trace, 
If his pace please not, be it soft or faster, 
The spurs or whip shall be his paymaster ! 
Were not a man, trow ye, in pleasant case, 
With a beast in this case to change case or 


No man, except some few so unfortunate 
That they be out of tha'count of man's estate, 
That would agree to leave to change pains I 


With beasts' pain, being such as all men know. 
Now to speak of pleasure in these twain as 

The beasts' to compare is too far behind, 
Pleasure discussable in these thus doth fall, 
The beast in effect hath none, the man hath 
The reasonable man's imagination [all : 

Joined with reasonable consideration, 
Bringeth man much pleasure in considering 
The pleasant property of each pleasant thing, 
Possessed to man's behoof at commanding, 
Beasts have things of need, but no further 


Since man hath relief for all necessity, 
As well as beast, and above beast commodity. 
Of pleasures planted for man's recreation, 
In the highest kind to man's contentation, 


210 Witty and Witless 

Whereby pleasure in effect between these twain 
Showeth thus, man hath all, beast hath 

none, and more pain 

Hath beast than reasonable man, by these both 
Exchange fro man to beast who will, I would 
be loth. [defined, 

Jerome. Ye have in my mind this right well 
And for cause keep it well awhile in your mind ; 
Set we aside man and beasts similitude, 
And full disposition in both see we viewed, 
What thing disposeth most the variety 
Between man and beast? 

John. Reason in man, perde. 

Jerome. That man who of reason is as 


As a beast is, what difference shall we dispute? 

John. Small in this case, except it be this 

one ; [none. 

The sot hath a reasonable soul, beasts have 

Jerome. What helpeth wit of the soul in 

the sot, 

Since the body is such it useth it not ; 
Where impotency planteth such impediments, 
That use of senses are void to all intents, 
For use of reason ; so that for use of wit 
They are as beasts witless, using wit nought ; 
In man thus witless, and the unreasonable 


I see small difference for this life at least. 
John. I grant the witless and the beast thus 
as one. [man, and mill-horse, draw on, 
Jerome. Then sh^all these beasts, witless 
Both in one yoke; for think you the number 
Standeth as Somer doth, all day in slumber. 
Nay ! Somer is a sot ! fool for a king ! 
But sots in many other men's housing 

Witty and Witless 211 

Bear water, bear wood, and do in drudgery ; 
In kitchen, coal-house, and in the nursery : 
And daily for faults which they cannot refrain, 
Even like the mill-horse, they be whipped 
amain. [ceits, 

Other fools that labour not, have other con- 
Upon th'idle fool the flak evermore waits ; 
They toss him, they turn him, he is job'd and 


With fretting and fuming, as ye afore told : 
Except Master Somer, of sots not the best, 
But the mill-horse may compare with him for 

rest ! 

Therefore pleasure conceiving or receiving, 
The witless and mill-horse are both as one 

thing ! 

Your last tale and this tale together conferred, 
By matter of both let your answer be heard. 
Whether ye would be a man reasonable, 
Or unreasonable ; and except ye fable 
This answer shall show plain and undoubtedly, 
Whether ye would be witless or witty. [full 
John. In good faith I take this conclusion so 
That I may give over, and even so I will, 
For this life. 

Jerome. Well then for the life to come, 
Few words where reason is, may knit up the 


Concerning pleasure after this life present, 
By which he and you dissolved argument ; 
Both parts by both parties were so ended, 
That your part full faintly ye defended ; 
Though the more merit of our redemption 
Stand in Christ's passion, yet in execution 
Thereof, shall we stand, by God's justice, ex 

p 2 

212 Witty and Witless 

Having time and wit, his commandments be 


And who in which doth most diligently 
Plant imps of good works, given by God chiefly, 
Most highly of God shall he have reward. 
John. How prove ye that? 
Jerome. By Scripture, have in regard 
Christ in the gospel of John doth this declare, 
In the house of my Father, saith Christ, there 


Divers and many mansions, that is to say, 
As th 'exposition of Saint Awstyne doth 


There are in heaven divers degrees of glory, 
To be received of men accordingly ; 
Each man as he useth God's gifts of grace, 
So shall he have in heaven his degree or place. 
But, mark this chief ground, the sum of Scrip 
ture saith [faith ; 
We must walk with these gifts in the path of 
In which walk who worketh most in God's com 
mandment, [like intent : 
He shall have most, and Saint Powle showeth 
As one star differeth from another in shining, 
So the resurrection of the dead ; which like 
Appeareth in other places of Scripture, [thing 
John. I grant this, and what then? 
Jerome. That what cometh straight in ure, 
Since he that useth God's gifts best shall have 
best ; [rest ; 
And he next, who doeth next, and so for the 
And that the witty do daily work or may, 
And the witless nought worketh by no way, 
So that his reward may compare in degree, 
If witty have this advantage, thinketh me, 
The wise wittiest place wish I discernfully, 

Witty and Witless 213 

Rather than place of witless. 

John. So do I, 

If wish would win it ! but where the sot is sure, 
The witty standeth in hazardous adventure, 
To lose all ; and so in fine fair and well [hell. 
Instead of way to heaven, to take the way to 
In works commanded who in faith walketh not 
By God's justice he hath damnation in lot; 
And what other folks feel I cannot tell, 
But such frail falls feel I in myself to dwell, 
And by them to lose heaven I am so adread, 
The sot's surety of least joy there, would God 
I had ! [good, 

An old proverb maketh with this, which I take 
Better one bird in hand than ten in the wood ! 
Jerome. What if of the ten birds in the 

wood, each one 

Were as good as that one in your hand alone, 

And that ye might catch them all ten if ye 

would, [told ! 

Would ye not leave one bird, for the ten now 

John. Yes ! [reasonable pain 

Jerome. Would ye not having help, take 

For the chance of ten birds for one in gain ? 

John. Yes ! [flee this one, 

Jerome. Then in God's name fear not ! let 

Ye shall, I trust, catch these ten birds every 

one ! 

Your fleshly frail falls are such that ye drede 
As much as hope, in having heavenly mede ; 
By which dread surety of joys there the most 
small, [all ; 

Wish ye rather than bid venture to have joys 
And the sooner by this ye choose this I deem, 
The least joy there is more than man can 

214 Witty and Witless 

But now to remove this block your great drede 
We have a lever that removeth dread with 

speed ; [sin, 

God suffereth but not willeth he any man to 
Nor God willeth no sinner's death, but he be in 
Such endless males that his final estate 
In lack of penitence make himself reprobate, 
In time of this life at each penitent call 
Our merciful Maker remitteth sins all, 
From the perpetual pain infernal, 
Whatever they be, from least to most carnal. 
By which goodness of God we are set in hope's 

chair [spair ; 

Not to breed presumption, but to banish de- 
The grace of God alway to grace allureth man, 
And when man will call for grace, of grace as- 

sureth man. 

To assist man God's commandments to fulfil, 
At all times if man cast out ill willing will. 
Now since the Christian, that worketh most in 

faith, [saith, 

Shall have most in reward, as the Scripture 
And that God's grace by grace called for, will 

assist [list, 

Man's will to work well, alway when man 
And at instant of due ordered penitence, 
Man hath God's mercy of all former offence; 
Which showeth for mercy man is not mor* 


To ax, than God to grant mercy is ready. 
This seen, what show you to maintain the fear 
Which ye toward desperation were in while 

John. What show I ? nay, the show of that 

fear is extinct, 
Even by this pretty tale thus pithily linked ! 

Witty and Witless 215 

Since God to the most faithful worker giveth 
most, [post, 

And to make man work much God hasteth as in 
And when man hath not wrought at contrition, 
God granteth man of damnation remission. 
Making man sure of fruit of Christ's passion, 
Except man's wilful will mar all good fashion; 
By this I dread God, as standeth with love and 
hope, [grope. 

But no desperate dread doth my heart now 

Jerome. Ten birds in the wood, or one in 
Which choose ye now? [hand alone, 

John. I will not change ten for one ! 
Since the birder will help me to take them all, 
As sure to mine use as the one bird could fall ! 

Jerome. Well, for conclusion, since ye 

soundly see 

That witty have pleasure here in more degree, 
Than witless, and also witty wise see ye, 
In heaven by Scripture in higher joys be 
Than the witless ; you seeing this clearly, 
Whether would ye now, be witless or witty? 

John. Witty ! and the more witty am I for 
Of which heartily I thank you ; and now [you, 
Where my mate, my lords, said that is gone, 
Better be sot Somer than sage Solomon, 
In forsaking that I would now rather be 
Sage Solomon than sot Somer I assure ye ! 

Jerome. As ye show wit in change of 

former mind, 

Being now from witless to witty inclined, 
So aptly your wit in what wit shall devise, 
As in good use of wit by grace ye may rise, 
To be both witty and wittily wise. 
In governance of God's gifts in such size [fall 
As wisdom alway guideth, whereby this shall 

2i 6 Witty and Witless 

God's gifts to God's glory both ye may use and 

These words of counsel in which I now waded 
To him whom I told them, I only assign; 

I am by all circumstance full persuaded. 
This sort being sorted in sort thus fine, 
Need none exhortation, or at least not mine ; 

This sort have not only by nature his wit, 

But also by grace like wisdom joined to it. 

[These three stave next following in the 
King's absence, are void.] 

And as in them thereby God's gifts shine most 

may, [shall, 

So stand their affairs whereby they so shine 

If the gloss of God's shine not bright each way, 
In them who having a realm in governal, 
Set forth their governance to God's glory all, 

Charitably aiding subjects in each kind, [find? 

The shining of God's gifts where shall we then 

And of this high sort, the high head most ex 
cellent, [sovereign, 
Is our most loved and dread supreme 

The shining of whose most excellent talent 
Empfoyed to God's glory, above all the train, 
Thus wit wanteth her recital to retain ; 

And that all his faithful feel, the fruit of his 

Of course I pray pardon in passing the same. 

Praying that prince, whom our prince his great 

grace gave, [estate, 

To grant him long length of increase in 

At full fine whereof his most high gifts to have ; 
By his most faithful use, reward in such rate, 
As is promised in Scripture, alleged late; 

Witty and Witless 217 

The joys not all only inestimable, 

But more the degree of joys incomparable. 

Continuance whereof with fruitful increase, 

I heartily wish for increase of reward ; 
As Scripture alleged late doth witness, 

The witty wise worker to be prefarde, 
Above th'idle sot, and ye to regard 
Each man himself so to apply in this, 
As ye all may obtain the high degree of bliss. 

(Amen qd. John Heywod.) 


Reference from text to Note-Book is copious, and as 
complete as may be; so also, conversely, from Note-Book 
to text. The following pages may, with almost absolute 
certainty, be consulted on any point that may occur in 
the course of reading; but more especially as regards 

Biographical and other Notes, 

Contemporary references to Author and Plays, 


Variorum Readings, 

Words and Phrases, now Obsolete or Archaic. 
The scheme of reference from Note-Book to text as 
sumes the division, in the mind's eye, of each page into 
four horizontal sections; which, beginning at the top, 
are indicated in the Note-Book by the letters a, b, c, d 
following the page figure. In practice this will be found 
easy, and an enormous help to the eye over the usual 
reference to Page alone in "fixing" the "catchword." 
Thus i26a=the first quarter of page 126; ^oc = the third 
quarter of page 40 ; and so forth. 


P.P. The Pardoner and the Friar. 
F.P. The Four P.P. 
J.T. John, Tib and Sir John. 
W. Play of the Weather. 
L. Play of Love. 
W. W. Dialogue of Witty and Witless. 




ABHOMINABLE, " most abhominable " (P.P. gc), abomin 
able. Shakspeare, as was often his wont in playing 
to the gallery, ridiculed the fine speakers of his day in 
Love's Lab. Lost, iv. i. " This is abhominable which 
he would call abominable." The word did not always 
carry a bad meaning. 

A-BROACH, " set a-broach the matter " (L. i6i&), pro 
perly to tap ; hence, to diffuse, to advance. 

ACCOMPTED, " afore us merchants accompted be " 
(W. 1056), accounted, reckoned. 

ACCUMBER, " as knavishly you accumber " (P.P. 59^), 
destroy, vanquish, overcome. " And laft his sheep 
accombrcd in the mire " Chaucer, Cant. Tales (1383), 

ACE, " I pass you an ace " (P.P. 466), i.e. I surpass you 
by the value of an ace. 

A-CROOK, " take nothing .... a-crook " (L. 162^), 
crookedly. " This gear goeth a-crook " Udal, Ralph 
Roister Doister (c. 1553), iv. 3. 

AFFECTION, " without affection " (W. g8a) " if your 
affection .... suffer your reason " (L. 143^), sym 
pathy, partiality. " Some men cannot contain their 
urine : for affection .... sways it to the mood of 
what it likes or loathes " Shakspeare, Merch. of 
Venice (1598), iv. i. 

AFORE, " afore us merchants " (W. 1056), before. 

ALB, " ye came of late from the ale " (P.P. 32^), ale 
house see Slang and its Analogues, Vol. I. (revised 

220 Note-Book and Word-List [ALGATES 

ALGATES, " thou wilt algates rave " (P.P. 25a), always, 

ALL A DAY, " all a day to the knee " (L. 1440), all day. 

ALL HALLOWS (P.P. yd; P.P. 430, 43 d, et passim), All 

ALL-TO, " he would ail-to clout you " (H. iz8&) " and 
some of the knaves I will ail-to rent " (T. 1780), 
completely, thoroughly. Originally all and to were 
distinct words, to being added to verbs of force to 
indicate a complete break-up or destruction : sub 
sequently they were compounded when ail-to seems 
to have acquired the value of quite, altogether, 
wholly, thoroughly. 

ALMIGHT, " God Almight " (P.P. 22^), Almighty. 

ALMS-DEED, " their penny or alms-deed " (P.P. 96) " I 
showed you .... of alms-deed " (P.P. 130), an act 
of charity. " It were an alms-deed to knock her in 
the head "Thersytes (E.E.D.S., Anony. PI., ist 
Series). " Full of good works, and alms-deeds which 
she (Dorcas) did " Bible, Author. Vers. (1611), Acts, 
ix. 36. 

AMIAS (P.P. 300), ? Emmaus, near Jerusalem. 

AN, AND (passim), (a) if ; (b) on. " Beware .... and 
they be small .... he hath no help at all " Every 
man (E.E.D.S., Anony. PI., ist Ser.). 

ANNE OF BUXTON, SAINT (P.P. 300 ; W. ioia ; io6c). 
" Within the parish of Bacwell, in Derbyshyre, is a 
Chappel (somtyme dedicated to St Anne), in a place 
called Bucston, wheare is a hoate Bathe, of suche like 
Qualitie as those mentioned in Bathe be. Hyther they 
weare wont to run on pilgrimage, ascribinge to St 
Anne miraculously, that Thinge which is in that and 
sondrye other Waters naturrally " Lambarde, Dic- 
tionarium, 48. " I can again produce those wondrous 
wells Of Bucston, as I have, that most delicious fount 
Which men the second Bath of England do account, 
Which in the primer reigns, when first this well began 
To have her virtues known, unto the blest St Anne, 
Was consecrated then " Drayton, Poly-Olbion (1622), 

A VANCE] Note- Book and Word-List 221 

ANTONY-PIG, " like an Antony-pig " (J.T. 670), close at 
heel. " The Officers ... of the Markets [London] 
did take from the Market people Pigs starved, or 
otherwise unwholesome for Man's sustenance. One of 
the Proctors of St Anthonies tyed a Bell about the 
neck, and let it feed on the Dunghills ; no man would 
hurt or take it up ; but if anyone gave to them bread, 
or other feeding, such would they know, watch for and 
daily follow. . . . Whereupon was raised a Proverbe, 
Such an one will FOLLOW such an one, and whine AS 
IT WERE AN ANTHONIE PIG " Stowe, Surv. London 

( J 595). 19- 

APE, *' to make her husband her ape " (J.T. S^c), to 
befool or dupe him. 

ARCH, " a noble arch dame " (C. 70^), chief, pre 
eminent : in modern use chiefly in a bad or odious 
sense. " Thies wysefooles and verye archedoltes " 
Robinson, More's Utopia, 39 (1551). " Lads that are 
arch knaves at the nominative case " Eachard, 
Contempt. Clergy (1670). 

A-ROW, " the stations all a-row " (P.P. 29^) " each one 
a-row " (W. 65a) " given to us all a-row " (W. 1340), 
in order (as in a row), successively. 

ARRAYED, " arrayed at the skirt " (J.T. 756), soiled, 
dirtied, bedraggled, disfigured. " Indeed, age hath 
arrayed thee " Calisto and Melibcea (E.E.D.S., 
Anony. PI., ist Ser., which see). " My fingers were 
arrayed with lime " (Ibid.). 

ARSEFETITA (P.P. 476), asafcetida. 

As, " All this in manner a5 unknown to me " (L. 139^), 
should be is. 

ASSOILED, " till he be assailed " (P.P. 136), absolved. 

AT, " at him, Sir John " (J.T. 88c), attack, i.e. be at. 

ATTEMPERING, " each thing attempering " (W. 956), regu 
lating, tempering, mollifying. 

AUCTORITY, " mine auctority now shall ye see " (P.P. 8c 
and 8d), authority. 

AVANCE, AVANCED, AVANCEMENT, " to heaven avanced" 
(P.P. 5id) *' I shall the truth avance " (L. MIC) 
" his avancement avaunt " (L. 164^), advance, ad 
vanced, advancement. 

222 Note-Book and Word-List [AWSTYNE 

AWSTYNE, SAINT (W.W. 2126), St. Augustine. 
Ax, AXED, AXETH (passim), ask, asked. 

BABBLE, " bigger burden beareth he none than his 
babble " (W.W. ig6c), bauble. A short stick or wand, 
with a head with asses' ears carved at the end of it : 
this was carried by fools and jesters. For curious 
particulars and engravings see Douce 's Illustrations of 

BACKSIDE, " in at the backside " (W. 1190), the back of 
a building, room or place. 

BALD COOT, " thou blind bald coot " (L. i6od), a term 
of contempt : the frontal plate of the coot (Fulica 
atra) is destitute of feathers (Tyndale, Works, 1530, 
ii. 224). 

BALDOCK (W. 99^), in Hertfordshire. 

BARFOLD (W. ggd), " perhaps one of the numerous Bar- 
fords " (Pollard). 

BARN-DOORS, " broad as barn-doors " (P.P. 54^), as 
broad as may be : usually of a target too large to be 

BAUD, BAWD, BAWDY, " the errantest bawd " (J.T. 820) 
" the most bawdy hence to Coventry " (J-T. 720), 
a procuress, go-between, harlot; as adj. wanton, lewd, 

BAY, " in this bay " (L. 1696), stopped, at a standstill, 
as by amorous feeling, or by some restraint on motion 
imposed by others : modern at bay. 

BECK, subs, and verb, " did give a beck " (P.P. 52??) 
" thus he becked " (P.P. 54^), a beckoning with the 
hand, a nod, a salutation. " A serving of becks, and 
jutting out of bums " Shakspeare, Timon of Athens 
(1609) : cf. (modern) at beck and call. 

BEEN, " declare what each of them been " (P.P. $c) 
" as many as been assembled " (P.P. $c) are : an old 
indicative plural. " They be desceyved that say thay 
ben not tempted in here body " Chaucer, Persones 
Tale (1383). 

BEFORNE, " never man beforne " (W. 133^) " as ever 
she laughed beforne " (L. 158*:), before. 

BREAK] Note- Book and Word- List 223 

BESHREW, " I beshrew your knave's heart " (P.P. 59??), 
a mild imprecation : generally in imperative. " Be 
shrew your heart " = woe to you. " I beshrew all 
shrews " Shakspeare, Love's Labour Lost (1594), v. 2. 

BIB, " the more ye bib " (W. 125^), drink. " This 
miller has so wisely bibbed ale " Chaucer, Cant. 
Tales (1383), 4160. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY, see the Plays by name. 

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES, see Heywood, John. 

BLACK AND BLUE, " till she be black and blue " (J.T. 6gc), 
so beaten that the varied coloring of a bruise is shown. 

BLESS, " I come to bless the board " (J.T. 82c), com 
pare Pernet's " Vous irayje signer la table? Je scay 
bien le benedicite " : see John, Tib, and Sir John infra. 

BLIND HEW, " Marry that I would see, quod blind 
Hew 1 ' (P.P. 2id), a proverb: it does not, however, 
occur in Hey wood's Effectual Proverbs. 

BOMBARD, " loosed her bombard " (P.P. 5oc), properly 
a piece of ordnance : a mortar of large bore employed 
to project stone shot which are said sometimes to have 
weighed 3cwt. apiece. 

BONGRACE, " her bongrace which she ware " (P.P. 7^ 
bis), " a forehead cloth or covering for the head ; a 
kind of veil attached to a hood " (Skinner) : after 
wards the hood itself. 

BONIFACE THE NINTH (P.P. lob), ascended the papal chair 
in 1389. 

BOOT, " shall be her boot " (J.T. 6ga), remedy, cure, 
help, advantage. " This knight thinketh his boot thou 
may'st be "Calisto and Melibcea (Farmer, E.E.D.S., 
Anony. PI., ist Ser.). 

BOSTON, OUR LADY OF (P.P. 306), in Lincolnshire : see 
Saint Botolph. 

BOTOLPH, SAINT (P.P. 3oa), is said to have been born in 
Cornwall, and was eminent for working miracles about 
the time of Lucius. He was buried at Boston, in Lin 
colnshire. " Delicious Wytham leads to holy Botolph's 
town " Drayton, Poly-Olbion (1622), xxv. 

BREAK, BREKE, " not fail it to break " (W. 1230) " first 
to breke" (L. 1656), communicate: cf. (modern) to 
break news. 

224 Note-Book and Word-List [BREAST 

BREAST, " is your breast anything sweet " (P.P. 386), the 
breast is here regarded as essential to good singing : 
hence a musical voice, voice in general. In the next 
line a distinction is made between the breast and the 
voice. " In singing the sound is originally produced 
by the action of the lungs, which are so essential an 
organ in this respect, that to have a good breast was 
formerly a common periphrasis to denote a good 
singer. The Italians make use of the terms Voce di 
Petto and Voce di Testa to signify two kinds of voice, 
of which the first is the best. In Shakspeare's 
Twelfth Night, after the clown is asked to sing, Sir 
Andrew Aguecheek says ' By my troth, the fool hath 
an excellent breast.' And in the statutes of Stoke 
College, in Suffolk, founded by Parker, Archbishop of 
Canterbury, is a provision in these words : ' Of which 
said queristers, after their breasts are changed (i.e. 
their voices broke), we will the most apt of wit and 
capacity be holpen with exhibitions of forty shil 
lings ' f ' Hawkins, Hist. Musick in. 466, note. 
" Duke. ' Yea the voice too, sir? ' Fab. * Ay, and a 
sweet brest too, my lord, I hope, or I have cast away 
my money wisely ' " Middleton, Women Beware 
Women (Dyce), iv. 583. 

BRENNING, " brenning fire" (P.P. nb) "tapers . . . 
brenning bright " (P.P. IQC), burning. " The more 
thine herte brenneth in fier " (Romaunt of the Rose). 

BRISTOW (W. iooa), Bristol. 

BULL, " bulls under lead " (6a), originally the seal ap 
pended to the papal edicts, but subsequently applied 
to a letter, brief, or rescript of the pope sealed with 
such a seal. 

BUSH, " so took my bush " (L. iSic), properly the metal 
box in which the axle of a machine works ; here ap 
plied to the " copper tank " carried by the Vice. 

BUTSBURY (W. iooa), ? Butsbury in Essex. 

BY AND BY, " thou shall go to prison by and by " (P.P. 
25&) " fell sick so suddenly that dead she was even 
by and by " (P.P. 510) " he cometh by and by " (W. 
104^), immediately, as soon as possible. " I will that 
thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John 
the Baptist "Bible, Auth. Vers. (1611), Mark vi. 25 : 

CHASES] Note-Book and Word-List 225 

in the original Greek ex antes = at the very point of 

C., " many a C. stroke " (J.T. 6yd), hundred. 

CAN, " I can some skill " (P.P. 420), able, know, possess, 
am skilled in. " Thy wif hath this day spoken with 
a man that can of nigromancy." Gesta Komanorum 
(Herrtage), 2. " Though he be ignorant and can little 
skill." Four Elements (E.E.D.S., Anonys. Plays, ist 
Ser.), 7. 

CAP, " have ye nother cap nor knee " (W. ggc), acknow 
ledgment, salutation ; either by removing the cap or 
bending the knee. " Three great ones of the city, in 
personal suit to make me his lieutenant, oft capp'd to 
him." Shakspeare, Othello, i. i. 

CARK, " for ... other thing they will cark " (P.p. i8c), 
care, take thought, be concerned about. 

CARTERLY, " carterly caitiffs" (W. 996), clownish, rude, 
like a carter. "A carterly or churlish trick." Cot- 
grave, Diet. (1611), s.v., Charterie. 

CASUALTIES, " the devil's servants have casualties " (W. 
1260), chance perquisites. 

CATTERWAULING, "to go a catterwaiiling " (J.T. yoc), 
properly to cry like cats in heat ; hence to woo, to 
make love, to wanton. " The friars and monks cater- 
wawld from the abbots and priors to the novices." 
Nashe, Lenten Stuffe (1599), Wks. v. 284. 

CATWADE (P.P. 300), " Catwade Bridge is in Samford 
Hundred, in the county of Suffolk, where there may 
have been a famous chapel and rood " (Gifford). 

CERTES (passim), certainly, assuredly. " And certes, if 

it nere to long to heere, I wolde han told yow fully 

the manere." Chaucer, The Knight's Tale (1383), 

CHANCE, "for the chance of ten birds" (WAV. 2136), 

these words are very indistinct, and the reading given 

may not be the right one (Fairholt). 
CHASES, " purlieus and chases " (W. 1076), the woods 

adjacent to a royal forest, chases being unenclosed 



226 Note-Book and Word-List [CHEAP 

CHEAP, subs, and verb, " as good cheap " (P.P. 330) 
" I chept not nor borrowed " (W. i28c), price, value, 
to buy, to bargain for : hence good cheap (Fr. bon 
marche) great plenty, very cheap : the expression was 
common enough. " To gret chep is holden at little 
price " (Chaucer). " Seeing thou wilt not buy counsel 
at the first hande good cheape, thou shalt buye repent 
ance at second-hande at such an vnreasonable rate that 
thou wilt cursse thy hard penyworth, and ban thy 
harde heart." Lyly, Euphues (1579), 8. " He buyes 
other men's cunning good cheap in London, and sels 
it deare in the countrey." Decker's Lanthorne and 
Candlelight, H^. 

CHECKING, " maketh all our checking " (W. u8a), scold 
ing, reviling, reproaching. 

CHOP, " at the first chop " (P.P. 34^), attack, onset, be 
ginning. " Believe them at the first chop, whatso 
ever they say." Tyndale, Works, i. 241. 

CLAP, "stint thy clap " (P.P. 216), chatter, idle talk: 
see Chaucer, Cant. Tales (1383), 3146. 

CLEPED, " cleped sweet Jesus " (46), called, named. 
"... he clepeth a calf, cauf ; half, hauf ; neighbour, 
vocatur, nebour." Shakspeare, Love's Labour Lost, 
v. i. 

COCK, " Cock's blood, body, bones, lilly nail, lilly 
wounds, mother, soul," &c. (J.T. passim), God's blood, 
&c. : a euphemistic oath, cf. Gog's blood, &c. 

COLLATION, "a simple collation" (P.P. 5&), conference, 
discourse. " I and thou and sche have a collacioun." 
Chaucer, Cant. Tales (1383), 8199. 

COMEN, " I am comen " (P.P. 5^) " when that he 
comen home again was " (J.T. 840), come : A.S. 

COMMODITY, " the wind in this commodity " (W. 115^), 
advantage, profit, convenience, opportunity. 

COMMONER, " some fresh commoner " (W.W. 2070), a 
student : at Oxford a commoner is one who is not 
dependent for support on the foundation of any college, 
but pays his way independently. Here probably fresh 
commoner is equivalent to the modern freshman. 

COSTARD] Note-Book and Word-List 


CONJECT, "I do conject" (J.T. 720), conjecture, sur 
mise. " Now reason I or conject with myself." 
Acolastus, 1540. " Madam, the reason of these ve 
hement tearmes, Cyrus doth neither know, nor can 
conject. " Wars of Cyrus (1594), 4to E, ib. 

CONNING, see Cunning. 


CONTENTATION, " pleasure by contentation " " pleasure 
without contentation " (L. 174^), content, satisfaction. 

COOLES, " mean cooles of wind " (W. 1130) " save 
cooles to blow meanly " (W. 1306) " pleasant cooles 
ye shall obtain " (W. 1326), cool breezes. 

CORNELYS, SAINT (P.P. 306). " Saint Comely s, accord 
ing to the Legenda Aurea, succeeded Fabyan in the 
Papacy (A.D. 251 : Fabian was martyred A.D. 250), 
and was beheaded in the reign of Decius (A.D. 250), 
for refusing to sacrifice in the Temple of Mars. There 
was a fraternity in his honour at Westminster " (Dod., 
5- 336). 

CORPUS CHRISTI, " in the play of Corpus Christi " 
(F.P. 530), see Coventry Mysteries, ed. Halliwell 
(1841). " Before the suppression of the monasteries, 
this city (i.e. Coventry) was very famous for the 
pageants that were played therein upon Corpus Christi 
day (this is one of their ancient faires), which occa 
sioning very great confluence of people thither from 
far and near, was no small benefit thereto ; which 
pageants being acted with mighty state and reverence 
by the friers of this house, had theaters for the several 
scenes very large and high, placed upon wheels, and 
drawn to all the eminent parts of the city, for the 
better advantage of spectators, and contained the story 
of the New Testament, composed in old English 
rithme, as appeareth by an ancient MS. entitled Ludus 
Corporis Christi, or Ludus Coventrics, in Bibl. Cotton, 
(sub Effigie Vesp. D. 9) " (Dugdale's Warwickshire, 
p. 116). 

COST, " of the place's cost " (P.F. 2od), i.e. charge. 

COSTARD, "knock thee on the costard" (P.F. 2id), 
head : properly a large kind of apple. " I knocke 
youre costarde if ye offer to strike me." Udall, 
Roister Doister (1534), iii. 5. 

Q 2 

228 Note-Book and Word-List [COVETISE 

COVETISE, " fye on covetise " (P.P. 96) "all thy 
sermon goeth on covetise " (P.P. 17^), coveteousness 
(A.N.). " Seven deadly sins ... as pride, covetise, 
wealth and lechery." Everyman (E.E.D.S., Anony. 
PI., ist Ser.), 94^. 

CRATCH, " some cratch him " (W.W. 1946), claw, 

CROME (P.P. 3oc; J.T. 67*:), ? in Kent, near Greenwich. 
But, " there are three Croomes in the Manor of 
Ripple, Wore., and the church of Ripple is dedicated 
to the Blessed Virgin, but Nash's Worcestershire says 
nothing of our Lady of Crome " (Pollard). 

CRY, " according to the cry " (W. 1090 ; also W. 127^), 
a public notification by authority : here Jupiter's pro 

CUCKOLD, "look how the cuckold," &c. (J.T. 836), the 
husband of an unfaithful wife. 

CUNNING^ " my doctrine and cunning " (P.P. qbj " ye 
all be like conning " (P.P. 41^) " no small cunning " 
(L. i68d) " not doubting your conscience nor cun 
ning " (L. I75c), orig. knowledge, skill, learning, no 
bad sense being implied : as early as the time of Lord 
Bacon, however, the word was on the down-grade in 
meaning, influenced, no doubt, by the mundane truth 
that skill in the hands of the unscrupulous is used to 
defraud those less gifted. " If I forget thee, O Jeru 
salem, let my right hand forget her cunning." Bible, 
Auth. Vers. (1611), Psalm cxxxvii. 5. " With all the 
cunning manner of our flight, Determined of." 
Shakspeare, Two Gent., ii. 4. 

DAGENHAM (P.P. 306), in Essex. 

DAVID'S, SAINT (P.P. 3oc), said to have been bishop 65 
years and to have lived 146 ( ! ). " Sf. David's in Pem 
brokeshire is the ancient Menapia, now a poor de 
cayed place, but once the metropolitan see of W 7 ales, 
and archiepiscopal. When Christianity was planted in 
Britain, there were three archbishops' seats appointed, 
viz. London, York, and Caerleon upon Usk, in Mon 
mouthshire. That at Caerleon being too near the 
dominions of the Saxons, was removed to Mynyw, and 
called St. David's, in honour of the archbishop who 

DISTAFF] Note-Book and Word-List 229 

removed it, 519. St. Sampson was the last archbishop 
of the Welsh ; for he, withdrawing himself on account 
of a pestilence to D61e, in Brittany, carried the pall 
with him. In the reign of Henry I. the archbishops 
submitted to the see of Canterbury " (Haydn). 

DAW, " sir daw " (P.P. 150), i.e. jackdaw ; hence an 
empty-headed fellow, a fool. 4< Men count him but 
a data." Four Elements (E.E.D.S., Anony. PI., ist 
Ser.), 4d. " Good faith, I am no wiser than a date/." 
Shakspeare, Henry VI., ii. 4. 

DEBATE, " the debate between you and her " (J.T. 78c), 
quarrel, point of contention. 

DELL, " will help never a dell " (P.P. 236)" no dell " 
(L. 175^) " every dell " (L. 1690), bit, part, portion 

DENIS, SAINT (P.P. 3oc), the patron of France : " dis 
ciple of St Paul, and the first who preached the gospel 
to the French. The legend concerning him affirms 
that, after he was beheaded near Paris, he walked four 
miles with his head in his hands. His body was said 
to be entombed very magnificently at the abbey of St 
Denis (A.D. 636), to which the pilgrims used to resort " 
(REED). The abbey, which had been the burial-place 
of the French kings from its foundation by Dagobert, 
about 630, was destroyed at the Revolution. The 
church was restored by Bonaparte, and again became 
a royal burial-place. 

DEPARTED, "when we departed" (W. 97^), separated. 

DISCOMMEND, " I discommend your wit " (P.P. 3i&), 

DISEASE, " much it overmatcheth all your disease " 
(L. 145^) " I will not disease you " (L. 1650) " he 
will no more disease you " (L. i8oa), disturb, trouble, 
annoy : also as subs. : originally, as here, general in 
meaning = absence of ease. " We to hem that ben 
with child, and nurishen in tho daies, for a great 
disese [Gr. avayit (anangke), Vulg. pressura magna, 
Auth. Eng. Vers. distress] schal be on the erthe, and 
wrathe to this peple." Wycliffe, Luke xxi. 23. 

DISTAFF, " more tow on my distaff than I can well 
spin," &c. (P.P. 25c), proverbial : I have more in hand 
than I can undertake. 

230 Note-Book and Word-List [DISTEMPEKATE 

DISTEMPERATE, " temperate or distemperate " (W. 986), 
immoderate : " whence distcmperance " (L. iyoc ; 
W.W. 194^) = discomfort, disorder, mental disturbance. 

DRAB, " stand still, drab " (J.T. 88a), a wanton : a 

general term of abuse. 
DRIVEL, "whoreson drivel 11 (P.P. jyc; J.T. 88b), 

drudge, wretch, fool. 

DURE, " in dure " (W.W. 202^), endurance. 
DYRYK, SAINT (J.T. yic), unmentioned by the Bolland- 

ists ; the name may be a contraction for one of the 

four St. Theodorics (Pollard). 

EDMUND'S BURGH, SAINT (P.P. 306), Bury St. Edmund's. 
" Is named of Kinge Edmunde, whom the comon 
Chronicles call St Edmund or Edmund the Martyr ; 
for Bury is but to say a Court or Palace. It was first 
a Colledge of Priests^ founded by Athelstane the kinge 
of Ingland, to the Honour and Memorye of Edmund 
that was slayne at Hoxton (then called Eylesdund [or 
Eglesdon], as Leland thinketh), whose Bones he re 
moved thyther. The hole hystorie of this matter is so 
enterlaced with miracles, that Polydor himselfe (who 
beleaved them better then I) began to delye with it ; 
sayinge, that Monkes weave much delighted with 
them. 1 ' Lambarde, Diet. 35 (Reed). 

EKE, " eke here see ye may " (P.P. 70) " he offereth 
eke " (P.P. 7&, et passim), also, besides, in addition : 
obsolete save in poetry, a late instance being " A 
trainband captain eke was he, Of famous London 
town." Cowper, John Gilpin. 

ENRAGE, " I almost enrage " (J.T. 69^), get furious. 

ENSAMPLE, " to the ensample " (P.P. 240), example, 
pattern, model (A.N.). 

ENTERED, " hath entered such matter" (W. 94*;), placed 
on record. 

EOLUS (W. 94&), i.e. /Eolus, the god of the winds, and 
king of what are now known as the Lipari Islands, in 
the caverns of which the winds were supposed to be 

ESTEEM, (W. ii2c), orig. exteme. 

FAY] Note-Book and Word-List 231 

EUPULUS, " dives Eupulus reigning in welfare " (P.P. 
IDC), Latin, Eupulor = to feast; Epulum = a feast. 

EVERYCHONE, " then be we lords every chone " (P.P. 416, 
et passim), everyone. 

EXHIBITION, no prebends ne exhibition " (P.P. 190), 
stipend, allowance of meat and drink : still in use at 
the Universities, where it signifies a benefaction or 
endowment for the maintenance of scholars. " What 
maintenance he from his friends receives, Like exhibi 
tion thou shalt have from me." Shakspeare, Two 
Gentlemen of Verona (1595), i. 3. 

EXTRE (W. io8d), axle tree. " The firmament and also 
every spere, The golden extre and the sterres seven." 
Lydgate, M.S. Ashmole 39, f. 33. 

FABLE, " the more ye fable " (W. 125*:), lie, draw the 
long bow : also as subs. " And tell you fables dear 
enough at a fly " (P.P. i8c). " Without fable or 

fuile. " Four Elements (E.E.D.S., Anony. PI., ist 

FACSIMILE TITLE-PAGES, &c. Portrait of John Heywood 
(facing general title); The Four P.P., facs. title, ed. 
1545 (p. 27); Ibid., facs. title, ed. 1569 (p. 28); John 
John, Tib, and Sir John, facs. title (p. 65) ; Play of the 
Weather, facs. title (p. 91). 

FAIN, " your head so fain " (L. 144??), so in original, 
but probably it should read either -vain (f and v are 
phonetically allied) or fair (careless copying having 
confounded r and n). 

FALLING SICKNESS, " this wanton had the falling sick 
ness " (P.P. 49<2), properly epilepsy, but a double mean 
ing attaches to the 'pothecary's use of the term : Hey 
wood was not singular amongst the writers of his own 
and later times in this respect : cf. modern fallen 

FAR-FORTH, " so far-forth lacketh grace " (P.P. gd), far, 
in a certain or great degree. " Now the humid night 
was farforth spent." Spenser, Fairy Queen (1590), 
III., ix., 53. 

FAY, " by my fay " (J.T. 750), faith : a mild oath. " I 
tell you in /ay." Sir Degrevant, MS. Lincoln, F. 132. 

232 Note- Book and Word-List [FEASTS 

FEASTS, THE FIVE SOLEMN (P.P. 19??), Christmas TJay, 
the Circumcision, the Epiphany, Candlemas or the 
Purification, Lady Day or the Annunciation of the 
Virgin Mary. 

FEATHER, " she will make me wear a feather " (J.T. 
7oa), will cuckold me. The bull's feather (or horn) 
(Fr. plumes de bocnf) was the insignia of cuckoldry. 

FEATLY, " set ye down featly " (W.W. 199??), neatly, 
dexterously, nimbly. " Foot it featly here and there." 
Shakspeare, Tempest (1609) i. 2. 

FELLOWSHIP, "friends, a fellowship" (W. 98^) "a 
fellowship speed ye " (L. 1520), out of good fellow 

FEOFED, " feofed in the tail " (W. nyc); invested with 
or in enjoyment of a fief or corporeal hereditament : 
the tail (as opposed to a fee-simple) limited inherit 
ance to the heirs of the holder's body, general or 
special, male or female. 

FET (i), " fet ten souls out of purgatory" (F.P. 58*:) 
" the devil shall have the tone to fet the tother (W. 
124^), fetched. " The qwene anon to hym was fett, 
For sche was best worthy." MS. Cantab. Ff. v. 48, 
f. 54. (2), " so fet it is ""(W. i22a), neat, trim, skilful, 
deft. " Noe not an howare, althoughe that shee be 
never soe fine and feat. MS. Ashmole 208. " So feat t 
so nurselike." Shakspeare, Cymbeline (1605), v. 5. 

FEUTERED, " feutered in fashion abhominable " (F.P. 
55 a ) equipped, featured (Hazlitt) : cf. " Fewters of his 
face " (Romeo and Juliet). 

FILLETS (F.P. 36^), a band of linen, ribbon, &c., worn 
round the head. " A golden fillet binds his awful 
brows." Dryden, Virgil, yEneid (1694-7), ' v - 21 3- 

FIT, " I long for such a fit " (W. 1220), an air or bar, 
a part of a song, division of a poem. " Shalle I now 
syng you a fytt with my mynstrelsy." Towneley 
Mysteries, p. 51. " And I can whistle you a /if." 
World and Child (E.E.D.S., Anony. PI., ist Ser.), 

FLEECES, " increase of their fleeces " (W. 1290), plunder : 
as a verb fleece = to cheat, to shear (as a sheep) was 
more common. " Tell me (almost) what gentleman 

FOUR r. p.] Note-Book and Word-List 233 

hath been cast away at sea, or disasterly souldiourizd 
it by lande, but they (usurers) have enforst him there 
unto by their fleecing." Nashe, Christ's Tearcs (1593), 
Wks. iv. 140. " Down with them : fleece them ! " 
Shakspeare, i K. Hen. IV. (1598), ii. 2. 

FLETE, " except the ship flete " (W. H2d), float. 

FORBOD, FORBODE, " or else God forbod " (L. i6qc) 
" no man may be forbade " (P.F. ice), God forbid, 

FORBORNE, "if we be forborne " (W. io8c) " be best 
forborne " (W. ma), dispensed with, missed. 

FORGETH, " he forgeth not one word " (W.W. 2o6c), 

FOUR P.P. (THE). This is one of the four undoubted 
Hey wood plays (the four P's being a Palmer, a 
Pardoner, a 'Pothecary, and a Pedlar), the Text of 
which is given on pp. 26-64. The Date of Composi 
tion is uncertain : equally problematical is that of its 
First Publication. There are three known editions 
(i) One thought to be the first (but undated), printed 
by William Myddleton " probably between 1543-7, an d 
possibly written fifteen years or so earlier " (Collier) : 
this copy, however, now in the British Museum, is in 
the Catalogue dated 1545. (2) An undated copy, 
printed by Copland, now in the Bodleian. (3) A copy 
dated 1569, also in the Garrick Collection in the 
British Museum. Also (4) reprinted in all editions of 
Dodsley's " Old Plays." (5) In " The Ancient British 
Drama " and elsewhere. The Present Text is that of 
the earliest edition, the following variorum readings, 
except where otherwise mentioned, being those of the 
edition of 1569. Facsimile Title-pages of Nos. i and 
3 are given on pages 27 and 28. Variorum Readings. 
-" My rudeness showeth me so homely " (296), in 
eds. 1545 and 1569 the words no and not respectively 
occur before so homely : the negative seems inserted 
in error (Collier) ; sue you (296), sue now ; ye see 
(290), you see ; have spent (290), hath spent, ed. 1545 ; 
fair and far country (29*;), far and fair country ; have 
I seen (290), / have seen ; could come there (29^), 
would come there ; King Henry (300), King Herry ; 
sooner to obtain (30^), obtaye, ed. 1545 ; I think surely 
), assuredly, 2nd ed. ; their frail body (310), thy, 

234 Note-Book and Word-List [FOUR P.P. 

ed. 1545; as far as ye can (3ia), you; ye will come 
(310), yet -welcome, ed. 1540; nay, fore God (3ia), 
for, fore God; also your pain (3i&), Paynes, 2nd ed. ; 
ere we go (316), or ed. 1569; mine humble submission 
(3ic), my; make yourself a fool (31^), you ; no other 
thing (31^), nother ; do but sco# (32*:), scofte, ed. 
J 545 J y e s/>eafe of (32c), fce/>e, ed. 1545 ; the first 
part (32<f), ifcis ; ye came of late (32^), you come late, 
ed. 1540 ; leave reasoning (32^), sonyng, ed. 1545 ; 
wherein you (32^), ye, ed. 1545 ; for you (32^), ye, 
ed. 1545 ; for you (33*1), ye, ed. 1545 ; all that have 
(33 a ) hath, ed. 1545 ; where you esteem (330), ye, 
ed. 1545 ; my pardons are such (330), be, ed. 1545 ; 
in the least quarter (336), leste, ed. 1545, leash, ed. 
1569, which reading Collier gave, and is here re 
tained ; is far a side (33 b), as, ed. 1545 ; these 
pardons bring (336), bringeth, ed. 1545 '> if we do 
(33 C ) dyd, ed. 1545 ; that / will (330), we will ; ere 
we g (33 d ). or , ed. 1545 ; the knaves rob (33^), they 
rob ; die honestly (340), hostely, ed. 1545 ; if ye should 
(346), that ; out of grace (340), from state ; ye may 
perceive (34^), you ; all kinds of trifles (35^), every 
tryfull, ed. 1540 ; use we chiefly (350), chefe, ed. 
1545 ; each man thinketh (35^), thinks ; is here 
nothing (35^), there ; wherein is right (360), where, 
ed. 1545 ; laces knotted (360), unknotted ; laces, 
round, &c. (360), Zace, ed. 1545 ; needles, thread, 
thimble, shears, and all such knacks (360), thimbles, 
and such other knacks ; arising (360), uprising ; yet 
is a thing (36^), it ; have it pricked in (370), prycke, 
ed. 1545 ; then &e f/iey (370), they be ; and sweareth 
an oath (370), swere ; at a /// point (37&), fall, ed. 
1545; some heads be swimming (380), swynking ; 
where is no TW'// (38*;), wyt, ed. 1545 ; be lacking 
wit (38c), wyZJ, ed. 1545 ; and not refuse (38^), not 
and, ed. 1545 ; that this indulgence (396), his ; and 
from all pain (390), for ; more than heaven he cannot 
get (39^), may not ; walk to heaven (39c), wake, ed. 
1545 ; it is necessary (40*1), it is very ; for when ye 
feel ... to heaven quickly (400), an addition to 
ed. 1569 ; and if ye list (40?)), he ; should go pilgrim 
age (40^), go on ; as deputy (40^), original has 
debite ; who could devise (410), howe, ed. 1545 ; then 
be we lords (4i&), were we as; all things decay (+ic), 

FOUR P.P.] Note-Book and Word-List 235 

thinge decayed, ed. 1545; wholly to be (^id), holly, 
cd. 1545 : holy, ed. 1569 ; ye have no cause (426), 
not, ed. 1545 ; be bold (426), beholde ; may here lie 
(42*;), may lie ; but, sir, this gear (42^), sirs ; hop 
better (42^), as well as ; to hop so (430), hope, ed. 
J 545 I y e shall hop without it (430), hope, ed. 1545 ; 
without it (430), it is omitted in ed. 1545, but " it 
is necessary for the rhyme " (Collier) ; be ruled in 
differently (43^), to be ruled ; here be pardons (43^), 
here are ; here be relics (430), here are ; no man can 
find (43^), may ; never be vexed with the toothache 
(44a), be ryd of the toth ake, ed. 1545 ; either the 
Trinity (440), other, ed. 1545 ; my friends (440), 
friend ; here is a slipper (440), this is ; these two years 
(44c), thys, ed. 1545 ; unto Turks' teeth (45), to, 
ed. 1545 ; I have yet here (45^), here omitted in ed. 
1569 ; 1 behold thee (45^), see ; wrought one operation 
(466), in, ed. 1545; this medicine (46^), ointment; 
shall make you (470), will ; these be the things (47^), 
these are ; dogs that be mangy (47c), are mangy ; 
good to me (47^), unto me ; now say thy worst (480), 
and say, ed. 1545 ; ye be an honest man (48a), you 
are who told truth (48*;), true, ed. 1545 ; ere we 
proceed (480), or, ed. 1545 ; by your faith (480), our, 
ed. 1545 ; that none had lied (48^), one ; both ye the 
truth (490), your, ed. 1545 ; How that I lied . . . 
may soon agree (490), And that we both my lye so 
witness, That twayne of us thre in one agree, ed. 
1545 ; most unlikest (49^), unlike, ed. 1545 ; of that 
likeness (49^), from, ed. 1545 ; could not with ease 
(506), should, ed. 1545 ; more pains about her (506), 
payne, ed. 1540 ; but I knew there it was too heavy 
(506), " an addition in the second edition " (Reed) ; 
at this castle did light (50^), on thys castell lyght, 
ed. 1545 ; may these words (51^), this ; to your pur 
pose (51^), our, ed. 1545 ; done greater cures ghostly 
(5ic), done more cures ghostely ; thus smilingly (530), 
thys, ed. 1545 ; on this day (536), " addition in the 
2nd ed." (Reed); thou may thy passport (530), maist ; 
without any jeopardy (53^), his, ed. 1545 ; quoth I 
amain (540), for playne, ed. 1545 ; in ure (54^), cure ; 
residue of the fiends (54^), frendes, ed. 1540 ; Did 
laugh . . . like friends (540), in first ed. this line 
reads, Dyd laugh full well together lyke frendes ; Of 

236 Note- Book and Word-List [FOUR P.P. 

Lucifer ... I could (54^), first ed. reads, Then to 
Lucyfer low as I coude ; delivered hence (55&), de 
liver ; I shall deserve it (55c), wil ; Ho, ho (55^), 
Nowe, ed. 1545 ; thou whoreson (55^), horyson, ed. 
1545 ; all we devils (560), the ; at this day (566), 
dayes, ed. 1545 ; wonders well (S7 a ), wunderous ; ye 
had in hell (57^), found ; great peril (57&), par ell, 
ed. 1545 ; much perilous (57&), parellous ; T/iis, in 
effect (57c), thus ; told /or truth (syc), o/ ; long time 
tarried (57^), maryed, ed. 1545 : " it will be observed 
that there is no rhyme to this line . . . and it is 
probable that a line has here dropped out ending 
with maryed, which is the word in the oldest of the 
three editions" (Collier); gentle knave (59^), gentle 
man, ed. 1545 ; by our lady (596), one, ed. 1545 ; ye 
can be (59c), you may ; three of the lewdest (59^), 
" addition in the third edition " (Reed) ; when ye 
have it (6ia), I, ed. 1545 ; gentle brother (6ia), 
"addition in the third edition" (Reed); I had liever 
(6i&), rather; made courtesy (6ic), make; loth to be 
assigned (6ic), " I believe we should read affin'd, i.e. 
joined by affinity to each other " : so in Othello : " If 
partially affin'd or leagued in office " (S.) : " it prob 
ably means assigned to the Palmer to wait on him, 
which was part of the agreement, before the con 
tention began " (Collier) ; live the better (6ic), bestc, 
ed. 1545 ; And likewise ... I vow (6id), first edition 
reads, And I lykewyse, I make God a vowe ; Is chief 
the thing (6id), cheefest ; procure thus (6aa), this; 
To show (620), Shewell ; to one end (62??), on ; such 
like works (62c), other, ed. 1545 ; most plentifully 
(62d), plenteously ; ye be not all (636), are ; Ye be 
not (63c), nother, ed. 1545 ; To make no judgment 
(63^), take; that hath scaped (64^), escapte. Argu 
ment. " The question at issue between the characters 
is which shall tell the greatest lie ; and after each has 
told some monstrous story, the determination of the 
rest that the Palmer's simple assertion, that he never 
saw a woman out of patience in his life, is the most 
monstrous falsehood of all (which the other three, 
taken by surprise, involuntary declare), is an unex 
pected 'and very comic turn of the performance " 
(Collier). Fairholt holds (Percy Soc. Publ., LXV., 
page Ixix.) that " the absurdity of pardoner's relics is 

FRONTLET] Note-Book and Word-List 237 

severely handled, the jaw-bone of All-Hallows and 
the great toe of the Trinity being brought forward to 
ridicule. . . . Hey wood's Pardoner is a close copy of 
Chaucer's, and the two first relics he descants on 
the sheep's jaw and the mytten are derived from 
Chaucer, and described as nearly as possible in the 
same words, as well as the artful assurance, that all 
persons but grievous sinners, may publicly offer to 
these relics as the test of their innocence ; as deceptive 
and effective an imposition as was ever imputed to 
this body. The most spirited and humorous part of 
this Play (if indeed it be not Hey wood's chef-d'oeuvre) 
is the Pardoner's tale of his descent into hell, to 
recover the lost soul of a lady friend." 

FRAME, " set in frame " (W. 1276), make orderly ar 
rangements, commence, attempt, contrive. " Put 
your discourse into some frame. 11 Shakspeare, 
Hamlet (1596), iii. 2. 

FRENCH HOOD (P.P. 70). It would appear that fashion 
was set by France in the sixteenth century as in the 
nineteenth and twentieth. A usurer extorts his pound 
of flesh " for my mistress his wife's sake. . . . The 
better to maintain and support the French hood.'' 1 
New Custom (E.E.D.S., Anony. PL, 3rd Ser.). 

FRERES, " poor freres " (P.F. 4^), friar : spec, in this 
case one of the four mendicant orders for men, and 
probably a Dominican or Preaching Friar. The orders 
were : (a) The Franciscans or Friars Minors, popu 
larly called Grey Friars (q.v.) ; (b) the Dominicans, or 
Preaching Friars, popularly called Black Friars (q.v.) ; 
(c) the Augustinians ; (d) the Carmelites, popularly 
known as White Friars. 

FRETTING, " for fear of fretting " (W. i26a), rubbing, 
i.e. wear away by rubbing. 

FRETTLING, " this kind of frettling " (W.W. 1940, vexa 
tion, irritation, torment. 

FRO, " fro damnation " (P.F. igc, et passim), from. 

FRONTLET (F.P. 36^). " Frontal, Fr., a frontlet, or 
forehead band. Cotgrave, Diet. (1611). " Hoods, 
frontlets, wires, cauls, curling-irons, periwigs, bodkins, 
fillets, hair laces, ribbons, rolls, knotstrings, glasses." 
Lyly, Midas (1592). 

238 Note- Book and Word-List [GAYER 

GAYER, " never have I seen a gayer " (P.P. 49^). This 
would seem, in view of the general sense of the pas 
sage, an early instance of gay = wanton, loose. 

GEAR, " let that gear pass " (W. ma), a word-of-all- 
work moveable property, subject, matter, habits, 
customs, business, anything in general. 

GEORGE IN SOUTHWARK, SAINT (P.P. 300), formerly be 
longing to the priory of Bermondsey : see Stow's 
Survey (Reed). 

GEORGE, SAINT, " Saint George to borrow" (J.T. 88c), 
St. George for my backer. 

GIGLET, " yonder giglet " (W. 1236), wanton, loose 
wench. " What is the matter, foolish giglotte? What 
meanest thou? Whereat laughest thou?" Udall, 
Fluores, &c. (1533), fo. 101. " Let him speak no 
more : away with those giglots too, and with the other 
confederate companion." Shakspeare, Meas. for 
Meets. (1603), v. i. 

GLASTONBURY (W. iooa), in Somerset, said to have been 
the residence of Joseph of Arimathea, and the site 
of the first Christian church in Britain, about 60. 
A church was built here by Ina about 708. The town 
and abbey were burnt, 1184. An earthquake did great 
damage in 1276. Richard Whiting, the last abbot, 
who had 100 monks and 400 domestics, was hanged 
on Tor-hill in his pontificals, with the abbots of Read 
ing and Colchester, for refusing to take the oath of 
supremacy to Henry VIII., 14 Nov., 1539. 

GLISTER, " go to heaven without a glister " (P.P. 346) 
" give mine old tail a glister " (W. 1030?), a clyster, a 

GOD'S SHINE, " gloss of God's shine " (2166), gloss of 
God's gifts shine. 

GOG, " God's soul " (P.P. 220)" Gog's blood " (J.T. 
6jc) " Gog's body " (J.T. 69 b and c), God's soul, &c. 

GOOD EVEN, " God you good even " (L. 1480), God give 
you good evening good evening. 

GOSSIP, GOSSIPRY, " he is her gossip " " where the 
devil hath our gossipry begone" (J.T. 700), the re 
lation of a child's sponsors at baptism to the parents 

HALES] Note-Book and Word-List 239 

GOWN, " Abide a while, let me put off my gown " (J.T. 
74<Z), in the orig. this line is given to John, the next 
" cue " being " But yet he shall not have it, by my 
fay," also to John; " Lo, now ... as he can" 
(756), here restored to John is in the orig. given to 
Tyb : the next three lines, which are clearly Tyb's, 
are to John in orig. : the next line but one (" But 
see," &c.) is to Tyb. 

GRAVELYN (W. iooa), '* possibly Gravelye, near Bal- 
dock " (Pollard). 

GRIST, " grist of a bushel " (W. io8d), the result of 
grinding less the toll of a custom-mill : here two 
pounds of wheat for grinding sixty-four. 

GUARDON, " their souls for to guardon " (P.P. 96), 
guerdon, recompense. 

GYB'S FEAST (L. 1720), cf. gib-face = heavy-jowled, ugly- 

GYNGIANG, see Jayberd. 

GYS, " by Gys " (W. 12 id), see Jis. 

HAD, " no had " (J.T. 870), elliptical : cf. no shall 
(J.T. 68a). 

HALES (P.P. 306), the abbey of Hales, in Gloucestershire, 
founded by Richard, King of the Romans, brother to 
Henry III. This precious relic, which was commonly 
called the blood of Hailes, was brought out of 
Germany by Richard's son, Edmund, who bestowed a 
third part of it on his father's abbey of Hales, and 
some time after gave the other two parts to an abbey 
of his own foundation at Ashridge, near Berkamstead. 
It was given out, and believed to have this property, 
that if a man was in mortal sin, and not absolved, 
he could not see it ; otherwise he might see it very 
well : therefore every man that came to see this 
miracle, this most precious blood, confessed himself 
first to one of the priests there ; and then offering 
something at the altar, was directed to a chapel, 
where the miracle was shewn ; the priest who con 
fessed him, in the meantime, retiring to the back part 
of the said chapel, and putting forth a little cabinet or 
vessel of crystal, which being thick on the one side 

240 Note-Book and Word-List [HALIDOM 

that nothing could be seen through it, but on the 
other side thin and transparent, they used diversely, 
as their interests required. On the dissolution of the 
abbey, it was discovered to be nothing more than 
honey clarified and coloured with saffron (REED). 

HALIDOM, " so help me God and halidom " (P.P. 460), 
anything sacred or holy the kingdom of saints, 
salvation, holiness, a sanctuary, &c. : see Holydam. 

HANGER, " lend me his hanger " (P.P. 22??), properly 
the girdle or sword-belt in which the sword or dagger 
was suspended, but also the weapon itself. 

HAP, " with an evil hap " (P.P. 2i&), chance, fortune. 
" He sendyth yowrys bothe hap and hele, and for 
yow dyed my dere sone dere." MS. Cantab. Ff. ii. 
38, f. 48. 

HARBOROW, " both harborough and food " (P.P. 200), 
lodging, protection. " Leave me those hilles where 
harbrough nis to see." Spenser, Shepheards 
Calender: June. " Therfor he ledde them ynne and 
resseyuyde in herbore." Wycliffe, Dedis x. 

HARDLY, " speak on hardly " (P.P. i8a 615)" I shall 
reward her hardly " (J.T. 6yd), assuredly, confidently. 

HATH, " gods and goddesses . . . hath late assembled " 
(W. 94a), for another example of the use, as a pi. 
of the 3rd pers. sing. pres. indicative, see " right 
humbly beseecheth your merchantmen " (W. 104^). 

HEAL, "your soul's heal" (P.P. 30) " if he love his 
heal " (P.P. 120), health, hence spiritual welfare, 
salvation : also hole (A.S.) 

HENRY, KING (P.P. 300), see Variorum Readings. 

HEYWOOD, JOHN. See Terminal Essay (E.E.D.S., Hey- 
wood's Complete Works, Vol. III.). 

HIP, "a holy Jew's hip " (P.P. 6b), see Variorum 

HIRE, " hire me" (P.P. 45^), reward: more frequently 
met with as a subs. ( = recompense) than as a verb. 

HOLD, " I hold a noble " (J.T. 6f)d), I wager or bet 
6s. 8d. : see noble and cf. "I hold a groat." Udall, 
R. Roister Doistcr, I, iii. 27. 

HORNER] Note-Book and Word-List 241 

HOLPE, " and holpe you mass to sing " (J.T. 86a) 
" had not swimming holpe in love " (L. 157^), helped. 

HOLYDOM, " by my holydom " (J.T. 820) " so help me 
God and holydam " (W. 109^), see Halidom. 

HONESTY, " it will not be for your honesty " (P.P. 24^) 
-" jeopard all thine honesty " (W. 1246), in the 
second example honesty takes the meaning of chastity, 
an old usage now obsolete save in the phrase, to 
make an honest woman of one who has been seduced. 
In the first example honesty honour, credit (A.N.). 

HOPPER (W. io8d), the feeder of a mill. 

HORNER, HORNS, " who maketh all these horns? " 
(W. ioia) " Master Homer " (W. ioic) " I am no 
homer, knave " (W. lord), a play on horn = to cuckold, 
a word of ancient usage. From an early example of 
its use (infra) it would seem to have been imported 
into English from the Italian; Becco (- he-goat) and 
cornuto ( = a horned thing) are good Italian for a 
cuckold. Also it seems to have begun to be literary 
about the middle of the sixteenth century when the 
Italian influence was at its height. For the rest it 
passed into triumph into written English, was used in 
every possible combination, had a run at least two 
centuries long, and is still intelligible, though not in 
common service. Homer = cuckold maker. " To 
speke plaine Englishe made him cokolde. Alas I was 
not auised wel before Vnkonnyngly to speake such 
language : I should haue sayde how that he had an 
home. . . . And in some land Cornodo men do them 
call, and some affirme that such folk have no gall." 
Lydgate, Falle of Prynces, ii., leaf 50. " My mother 
was a lady of the stews, blood born, And (Knight of 
the Halter) my father wore an home. 11 Hickscorner 
(c. 1520), E.E.D.S., Anonymous PI., ist Ser. " I 
shall have some music yet At my making free o' th' 
company of homers. 1 ' Beaumont and Fletcher, Elder 
Brother (1637), iv. 4. " If I but catch her in a corner, 
Humph! 'tis your servant, Colonel Homer. 11 Somer- 
ville, Occasional Poems (d. 1742) (Chalmers, English 
Poets, 1810, xi. 238). 

242 Note-Book and Word-List [HOVE 

HOVE, " doth make me hove " (L. i68b), hover, wait 
upon. " And there he houed, and abode To wit what 
she wolde mene. " Gower, Confessio Amantis (1393), i. 

I, " / per se / " (W. 960), I sounded by itself : in re 
peating the alphabet. 

IF, " if they do well " (WAV. 2050), this play upon the 
word if appears to have been suggested by the anec 
dote told by Sir Thomas More in his Life of Richard 
the Third, of Hastings' answer to the accusation 
against Shore's wife, " Certainly, my lord, if they 
have so done, they be worthy of heinous punishment. 
What ! (qd. the protector), thou servest me I ween 
with if and with and. I tell thee they have done it, 
and that I will make good upon thy body, traitor ! " 
An incident powerfully worked out by Shakspeare; 
who also has made Touchstone fully aware that 
" there is much virtue in if. " Fairholt. 

ILK, " th' ilk peace" (P.P. 40), the same: still good 

ILLUSTRATIONS, see Facsimile Title-pages, &c. 

IMP, "plant imps of good works" (W.W. 2120), pro 
perly a shoot, a graft, but often used metaphorically. 
" The king preferred there eighty noble imps ( = scions 
of noble houses) to the order of knighthood." Stow, 
Annals (1592), 385. 

W. gSa and b; L. 1460 ; et passim), impartial, un 
biassed. " No judge indifferent." Shakspeare, Henry 
VIII. (1601), ii. 4 . 

INFECT, " he is infect " (L. 177^), infected. " Whom 
assoone as loues deare wife saw infect, With such a 
plage." Surrey, Virgile, JEneis iv. 

INNOCENT, POPE (P.P. iob), there were eight occupants 
of the papal chair of this name prior to the publication 
of The Pardoner and the Friar, the last, Pope Inno 
cent VIII., beginning to reign in 1484. 

INTREAT, " intreat me not " (P.P. 24^), treat, use, serve, 
deal with. " He shall gather the lambes together 

JOHN] Note- Book and Word- List 243 

with his arme, and carye them in hys bosome, and 
shall kyndlye intreate those that beare yonge." 
Esaye, xl. (1551). 

I'SH, " I'sh lug thee by the ears" (P.P. 2ic), I shall; 
mod. I will, I'll pull thee, &c. 

I-wis, I-WYS (passim), certainly, indeed, truly : often, 
with weakened sense, as a metrical tag. The writing 
with capital I, and separation of the two elements, 
have led later authors to understand and use it erro 
neously as I wot, I know, as if a present of I wist 

JAMES IN GALES, SAINT (P.P. 306), there were two 
apostles of this name, but here St James the Greater, 
chosen as the Patron Saint of Spain, whose shrine at 
Compostella was a famous centre of pilgrimage. 
" The Italians, yea, those that dwell neare Rome, will 
mocke and scoffe at our English (and other) pilgrims 
that go to Rome to see the Pope's holinesse and St 
Peter's chaire, and yet they themselves will runne 
to see the reliques of Saint lames of Compostella in 
the Kingdom of Galicia, in Spaine, which is above 
twelve hundred English miles." Weever, Funeral 
Monuments, 172. 

JAPE, " it is a pretty jape " (J.T. 830), jest, game : often 
with an indelicate meaning. 

JAYBERD, " Ynge Gyngiang Jayberd " (W. iooa), " defies 
explanation " (Pollard) : see, however, a note at 
tached to the Terminal Essay (E.E.D.S., Heywood's 
Complete Works, Vol. III.). 

JET, JETTETH, JETTED, JETTER (P.P. 3qc, and 6ib; 
W. i2ia; L. i5Qa ; W.W. 2oga ; et passim), strut, 
swagger; jetter = one who assumes a pompous gait 
or swagger. " Wantonly to goe in and out with the 
legs." Cotgrave, Diet. (1611). 

Jis, GYS, " by Jis " (P.P. 2ic), by Jesus. 

JOB, " some job him " (W.W. 1940), to thrust, poke, 
stab. " Jenkin Jacon, that jobbed jolly Joan."- 
Thersites (E.E.D.S., Anonymous PI., ist Ser.), 

JOHN, see Sir John. 

R 2 

244 Note-Book and Word-List [JOHN JOHN 

JOHN JOHN, TYB, AND SIR JOHN. The evidence (mainly 
inferential) for Hey wood's authorship of this " Merry 
Play " is strong, though not absolutely conclusive. 
In the " advertisement " to the Chiswick Press re 
print of what was then thought to be the unique Ash- 
molean copy, it is justly stated to be " exclusive of 
its antiquity and rarity, . . . valuable as affording 
a specimen of the earliest and rudest form of our 
comedy . . . and of the liberty with which even the 
R. C. authors of that age felt themselves authorised 
to treat the established priesthood." It deals with 
a favourite theme of the old Middle English satirists 
of intrigue between wife and cleric. Date of Com 
position, unknown. Previous Editions (i) 1533, 
copies of this edition are in the Bodleian (Ash- 
molean) and Magdalen College, Cambridge (Pepys 
Collection) Libraries. (2) Reprinted c 1819 [?] at the 
Chiswick Press by C[harles] Whittingham " from 
an unique copy in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford "; 
(3) included in Prof. Brandl's Quellen des Weltlichen 
Dramas in England vor Shakspeare, the Ashmolean 
text being employed ; and (4) in Prof. Gayley's 
Representative English Comedies, the text there given 
being the Ashmolean collated with the Magdalen 
copy : the present text follows the last named. 
A few variations in orthography and errors in print 
ing which appear in the Chiswick text have been 
here incorporated on the authority of Mr. A. W. 
Pollard (Representative English Comedies). See also 
Gown and Shortly. 

JOLL, " some joll him " (W.W. 1940), bump, blow, 
knock, or stroke. " There was jolling, ther was 
rennyng for the sovereynte. " Pol. Poems (1470), ii. 

JULIUS, POPE (P.P. 106), there were three popes of this 
name, the first being St Julius, of great piety and 
learning, and who maintained the cause of St Athan- 
asius. Pope Julius II. (1503) was of martial char 
acter, and he it was who began St Peter's : probably 
this pontiff is the one alluded to : see next article. 

JULIUS THE SIXTH (P.K ioa), there never was a Julius 
the Sixth, the third of the name being the last : pos- 

LEST] Note-Book and Word-List 245 

sibly the whole list is an intentional jumble, part of 
Hey wood's satire. 

JYS, " by Jys " (L. 1630), by Jesus. 

KNACKS, "all such knacks 1 ' (P.P. 360), trick, device, 
joke, trifle. " She ne used no suche knakkes smale." 
Chaucer, Dethe Blaunche (c. 1369), 1033. 

KNEE, " nother cap nor knee " (W. 99^), see Cap. 

LAD, " evermore lad " (L. 155^), led. 

LAUNDER (W. Dram. Pers. 92 and I23&), a washer, 
laundress. " A woman that his lander was." St. 
Brice (c. 1350), 156. 

LEAK, " old moons be leak " (W. i2oa), leaky : a very 
early instance of this form in O.E. 

LEAST, "the least quarter" (F.P. 336), see Variorum 

LEMAN, " farewell leman " (J.T. 86c), a lover, gallant, 
or mistress. " With my gud will I wyll no lemman 
be To no man born." Henry, Wallace (c. 1470), v. 

LENGER, "no lenger " (P.P. 22a ; F.P. 500), longer. 

LENT, " ten thousand . . . Lents of pardon " (P.P. 96), 
i.e. ten thousand periods of pardon of forty days each. 
"There is seven year and seven lents of pardon." 
Caxton, Golden Legend (1483), 158 b. 2. 

LEO THE TENTH (P.P. go), 1513-1522: this pope's grant 
of indulgences for crime led to the Reformation ; he 
was nevertheless a great patron of learning and art. 
It has been thought, by some commentators, that this 
mention of a reigning pope fixes approximately the 
date of writing of The Pardoner and Frere as not 
later than 1522. 

LESE, " lese part of his eyesight " (F.P. 4501), lose. 

LESYNGS, " this fool's lesyngs " (L. i8od), lie, falsehood. 
" The treueth is fled farre awaye and lesynge is hard 
at hande." Coverdale (1535), 2 Esdras, xiv. 18. 

LEST, " most nor lest " (L. isic), least. 

246 Note-Book and Word-List [LET 

LET (a), " should me disturb or let " (P.P. 120)" let 
the word of God " (P.P. iyc) " women have many 
lets " . . . "by these lets and nets, the let is such " 
(P.P. 36^) " to will the let of love " (L. 1700), hind 
rance, obstruction : now archaic save in phrase, let 
or hindrance, (b) " Shall I let" (J.T. 68c), leave un 
done, cease, forbear : i.e. hinder myself. 

LET OVER, " let over that her beauty was so much " 
(L. i53<4 admit. 

LICK, " fetched of him a lick " (J.T. 71 a), a wheeze of 
a kind is here intended. The original spelling shows 
the play on the words " Powder or sirop, syrs, 
which lycke ye best? Who lycheth not the tone maye 
lycke up the rest." 

LIEVER, LIEF, " I had liever thou wert hanged . . . 
than I" (P.P. 150) "as lief ye kist mine arse" 
(\\.ioid) "had liever have" (W. 1140), rather. 

LIMITATION, " we friars ... go on limitation " (P.P. 
iqc), a friar-limiter (or limiter) was licensed to beg 
within certain limits. " A limitoure of the grave 
fryers, in the time of his limitation preached manye 
tymes, and had but one sermon." Latimer, Sermons 
(1562), 94. 

LOBERS, " slovenly lobers " (L. 154^) " her lober 
seemeth as ugly " (L. 1870), a clumsy, stupid fellow, 
an idle lout : in the second example a play on the 
word lover. 

LORD, " with my lord " (W. 127^). " Cardinal Wolsey 
suggests himself as the person most likely to be thus 
referred to, but if the reference of 1. 636 is to the 
excessive rain of 1527-28, Wolsey 's disgrace followed 
it rather too closely for the phrase ' within this seven 
vere ' " (Pollard). 

LORE, " but lore against her will " (L. 167^), ? sore. 

LOSEL, " this losel . . . hath lost his wit " (L. 148^), 
profligate, rake, scoundrel ; and in weaker sense, 
ne'er-do-well. " Losels ye ar and thefys." Towneley 
Mysteries (c. 1400), xvi. 154. 

LOTELY, " lately hell-hound's face " (L. 1870), loathly, 
hateful, repulsive. " Thou art so loothly, and so oold 
also." Chaucer, IT 7 , of Bath's Talc (c. 1386), 244. 

LUST] Note-Book and Word-List 247 

LOUR, " or frown, or lour " (J.T. 8oa), scowl, look dis 

LOVE, THE PLAY OF Text, pp. 137-190. Editions 
twice printed by Rastell (i) in 1533 ; a copy is in 
the library of St John's College, Oxford; (2) also in 
1534 ; it was likewise (3) printed by Waley (who pub 
lished between the years 1547 and 1558) : a copy of 
this is in the Bodleian, and is the text now given 
(see Terminal Essay) ; and (4) it was reprinted in 
Prof. Brandl's Quellen des Weltlichen Dramas in 
England vor Shakspeare. This play has been con 
demned by critics, past and present, as " deadly dull." 
What play, however, reads with a tithe of the interest 
that attaches to representation? "Business" counts 
for much in matters dramatic, and, quite apart from 
the popularity of the word-contests and scholastic 
disputations of Hey wood's day, there are in this play 
numerous touches of humour (some of them " broad " 
enough in all conscience) and many an amusing 
quibble, which, supported with by-play, must have 
raised many a laugh. Let it not be overlooked also 
that the amusement and the fad or craze of to-day 
becomes a weariness to-morrow. No more notable 
example of this, in any age, could be found than the 
spelling-bee of the late eighties ! Variorum Read 
ings these are those of the St John's College copy, 
unless otherwise stated for my whole service (1406), 
orig. hoole, Bodley hole in deadly pain (144^, orig. 
/ ; that sooner may the suffrant (itfd), orig. suffret ; 
that part rehearse (149^), rehearsed ; be ye sure (1566), 
orig. sewer ; without mo words (1586), no ; shall never 
swerve (i6ic), orig. swarme ; your will outweigheth 
(i86c), orig. out wolth ; answereth you plain (1780), 
orig. playe ; all errors or doubts (187^), orig. errous ; 
more pleasure than ye (i88c), orig. he. 

LURCH, " this lurch " (P.P. 23*;), cheat, swindle, dis 
comfiture, difficulty : once literary, now usually in 
phrase to leave in the lurch. 

LUST, " in good health and lust " (P.P. 516), vigour, 
lustiness. " To restore the luste bothe in plantes and 
in beestes. " Trevisa, Earth, de P. R. (1398), III., 
viii. 54 (1495). 

248 Note-Book and Word-List [LYCKLY 

LYCKLY, " anything lyckly " (L. 151^), likely. 

LYDGER (W. n8a), the bedstone, a fixed stone over 
which the runner moves : properly ledger : Hey wood's 
use of the word is the earliest given in the O.E.D. 
" The molecopstone being always the runner, and the 
Darbyshire-stone the Legier." Plot, Staffordshire 
(1686), 170. 

MACULATE, " we may not maculate " (P.P. 190), spot, 
stain, defile, pollute. " A sensuall prynce . . . pur 
posed to maculate this vyrgyn gloryous. " Bradshaw, 
St Werburge (1513), i. 2791. 

MALES, "he be in such endless males 1 ' (W.W. 2140), 
evil, trouble, torment : also as adj. " That the dewke 
in hys perlement Hym forgeve hys male entente." 
MS. Cantab. Ff. 5i. 38, f. 181. 

MARK, " five mark a year " (W. 1076), a money of 
account, originally representing the value of a mark 
weight of pure silver. In England, after the Con 
quest, the ratio of 20 sterling pennies to an ounce 
was the basis of computation ; hence the value of the 
mark became fixed at 160 pence =135. 4d. or two-thirds 
of the sterling. " Vj marc yeerly, to scars is to 
sustene The charges that I have." Hoccleve, De 
Reg. Princ. (c. 1412), 1224. 

MARK, SAINT (P.P. 30*;), "at the Church of St Mark, 
in Venice, they pretend to have the body of that 
evangelist, which was brought thither by certain 
merchants from Alexandria, in Egypt, in the year 810. 
Coryat says, that the treasure of this church was of 
that inestimable value, that it was thought no treasure 
whatsoever in any other place in Christendom might 
compare with it, neither that of St Denis in France, 
nor St Peter's in Rome, nor that of Madonna de 
Loretto in Italy, nor that of Toledo in Spain, nor any 
other. See Coryat's Crudities, p. 214, and The Com 
monwealth and Government of Venice, by Contareno, 
translated by Lewes Lewkenor, Esq., 1599, p. 165 " 

MASHIP, MASSHIP, " I beseech your maship " (P.P. 47^) 
" he taketh your maship but for knave " (P.P. 48c) 
" your masship " (J.T. 79^) et passim, mastership : 

MIT] Note-Book and Word-List 249 

in the last instance, as applied to a cleric, there is 
obviously a play on mass. " I shall gyve your mashyp 
a good reward." Hundred Mery Tales (1526), 16 

MASTERY, " now have I found one mastery " (P.P. 420), 
an exercise of skill or power on or against a person. 
" Ye shul wel seen at eye, That I wol doon a 
maistrie er I go." Chaucer, Can Yeom. Prol. 
(c. 1386), 507. 

MEAN, " we shall find mean " (W. 117^) " by mean 
of the length " (L. 1440), means. 

L. 1626), Merry Report uses the word suggestively : 
see Slang and its Analogues, s.v., Mell. 

MELL, " how that they shall mell " (P.P. 240), meddle 
with, fight, contend. 

MENT, " my love thus ment " (L. 1696), made mention 

METS, " which maketh me mets " (L. 1640), mete, fit. 

MEVE, " he hath meved " (P.P. 58**)" I would meve 
thee " (J.T. 726), consult, question, address oneself 
to told. " The Florentine will move us For speedy 
aid." Shakspeare, All's Well that Ends Well (1598), 
i. 2. 

MEYNY, " all your meyny " (W. icoc), company, crew : 
also meyne. " Whanne al was redy, meyne" and 
vitaille, They bide not but wynde for to saille." 
MS. Digby 230 (xv. Cent.). 

MICHAEL (SAINT) (P.P. jd), the Archangel Michael, whose 
feast (Michaelmass) is celebrated on Sep. 29. 

MINION, " my minion seemeth very merry " ^L. i$5a) 
" this minion " (L. i68d), a dainty person, darling, 
favourite, sweetheart : also in an opprobrious sense. 

MIST, " ye would not have mist " (P.P. 4oa), in original 

MISTER, " shall not mister " (P.P. 340), master, achieve. 

MISTRIST, " never more shall he his wife mistrist " 
(P.P. 6d), mistrust. 

MIT, " ye would not have mit " (P.P. 400), see Mist. 

250 Note-Book and Word-List [MO 

Mo (passim), more. " To them I wyshe even thus, and 
to no mo, That as they have hys judgement and hys 
yeares, Even so I would they had hys fayre long 
eares." Old Ballad, BibL Soc' Antiq. 

MOCKS, " he weeneth all is but mocks " (P.P. 240) 
" the mocks, the fables " (J.T. Sod) " a proud 
mock " (J.T. 82^) " cometh of rudeness . . . that 
mock " (L. 148^), sneer, gibe, taunt : also a trifle, a 
wild assertion. 

MODER, "we moder our sails" (W. n6b), moderate, 

SAINT MODWIN (J.T. 8501), " S. Modwena, an Irish 
virgin, who died A.D. 518. She is said to have been 
the patroness of Burton-upon-Trent, and Henry 
VIII. 's commissioners sent thence to London ' the 
image of seint Moodwyn with her red kowe and hir 
staff, which wymen labouryng of child in those parts 
were very desirous to have with them to lean upon ' ' 

MOT, " so mot I thrive " (P.P. 36^) " so mote I thee " 
(J.T. 876), may: in last example = may I thrive. 
'* They byed on hym and can hym wrye, In helle 
mote they long lye! " MS. Cantab. Ff. ii. 38, f. 103. 

MOTHER, " the terrible words that mother brendered " 
L. 158*2), hysterical passion, anger. " How this 
mother swells up toward my heart." Shakspeare, 
Lear (1605), ii. 4. 

MUSWELL (P.P. 3oc). " Muswell Hill (in the northern 
suburbs of London), called also Pinsenall Hill : there 
was a chappie sometime bearing the name of our 
ladie of Muswell : where now Alderman Roe hath 
erected a proper house, the place taketh name of the 
well and of the hill, Mousewellhill ; for there is on 
the hill a spring of faire water, which is now within 
the compass of the house. There was sometime an 
image of the ladie of Muswell, whereunto was a con- 
tinuall resort, in the way of pylgrimage, growing, as 
is (though as I take it fabulouslie) reported in regard 
of a great cure which was performed by this water, 
upon a king of Scots, who being strangely diseased 
was, by some devine intelligence, advised to take the 

MOTHER] Note-Book and Word-List 251 

water of a well in England, called Muswell, which 
after long scrutation and inquisition, this well was 
found and performed the cure." Norden, Speculum 
Britannia*, p. 36, edit. 1723. " I am informed that 
the mosaic pavement and other ruins of this well and 
its chapel were to be seen about twenty-five years 
ago " (Dodsley, Old Plays, edit. 1780). 

NAIL, " naked as my nail " (W. 1240), as bare as may 
be, stark-naked. " And tho' he were as naked as my 
nail, Yet would be whinny then and wag the tail." 
Drayton, Man in the Moon (1605), 510. 

NAKED, see Nail. 

NE, " ne suffer other their ears to incline " (P.P. 14^, 
et passim), nor. 

NETHER (a), " the nether end is good enough for me " 
(L. 173^), lower end, in the back-ground, (b), " to 
fear nether " (J.T. 7oa), neither. 

NIFFLES, "the fables and the niffles " (J.T. Sod), a 
trifle. " He served hem with nifles and with fables." 
Chaucer, Cant. Tales (c. 1386), 7342. 

NOBLE, " I hold a noble " (J.T. 69^), a coin of the value 
of 6s. 8d. : to hold a noble to stake or wager it. 
" I hold a groat ye will drink anon for this gear." 
Udall, Roister Doister (c. 1552), i. 3, 27. 

NOCK, " lick my tail in the nock " (W. 1290) " beyond 
the nock " (L. 1540 ; L. i82a), a slit, nick, or notch : 
properly the notch of an arrow, or bow where the 
string is fastened : also nock (no ckandrow) pos 
teriors, tail, whence numerous vulgar allusions in 
early writers. 

NODDY, " I were a noddy " (P.P. 42^) " whoreson 
noddy" (P.P. 6od ; L. i6^c), fool, dolt. "Ere you 
came thither, poor I was somebody ; The King de- 
lighteth in me, now I am but a noddy." Edwards, 
Damon and Pithias (1567). 

NONNY, NONNY (W. I28&), usually an exclamation, here 
one of dissent : often found as a refrain to cover 
indelicate allusions. " These noninos of beastly 
ribauldry.*' Drayton, Eccl. (1593). 

NOTIIER, " nother for our meat nor for our drink " 

252 Note-Book and Word-List [NYCEBYCETERS 

(P.P. 40; P.P. i6b ; J.T. 6o,a; et passim), neither: 
see Other. 

NYCEBYCETERS, " such nycebyceters as she is " (W. 123*;), 
apparently a term of contempt : cf. " between you and 
your Ginifinee Nycebecetur " (Hey wood, Proverbs i. 
ii. 57) : ?Fr. niaise = simpleton, fool, and as adj. 
silly; Eng. nice = silly "he was nyce and knowthe 
no wisdome (Rob. of Glouc.). The word has puzzled 
all editors so far; all that seems clear is that Hey- 
wood in each case employs the word in contempt of 
a woman, as also does Udall " Merygreeke : ' But 
with whome is he nowe so sadly roundyng yond? ' 
Doughtie : ' With Nobs nicebecetur miserere fonde ' " 
(Roister Doister, I. iv. 12). Gayley says this is ex 
plained by Fliigel as a contraction of Nescio quid 
dicitur = Mistress " What's-her-name." 

NYFULS, "I take them as nyfuls " (W. 113^), see 

OAK, " Our Lady that standeth in the oak " (P.P. 3oc), 
a shrine to the Virgin Mary standing by the wayside 
over against an oak : cf. " our Lady of the walnut- 
tree," " our Lady of the vault," &c. " Our lady 
of the fair oak " Stephanus (trans, by R. C.), World 
of Wonders (1607), 316. 

OBJECT, " thus be object " (W. H4&), opposed, objected 
to. " No thing probable object ayenst the same by 
the said craft. "Surtees Misc. (1485), 43 (1888). 

ODD, " too far odd " (W. logc), too much at variance. 

OFF, " come, off quickly " (P.P. 370), lay down, down 
with (i.e. the money) : an elliptical verbal use of the 

ONES, " for this ones " (J.T. 6gb), once. 

OTHER (passim), either : cf. Outher and Nother. 

OUGHT, " mad by love that she ought we " (L. 1580), 
owed. " The devill or els his dame, they ought her 
sure a shame." Gammer Gurton (1575), i. 3. 

OUTHER, " outher groats or else pence " (P.P. 6a), 
either : cf. Other and Nother. 

PARDONER] Note-Book and Word-List 253 

OWETH, " that any beast oweth " (P.P. 6c), possesses, 
is owner of. " The goode man that the beastes 
oweth. "Chaucer, Pard. Tale (0.1386), 33. 

OYEZ (W. ia8d), "Hear ye! hearken!" a call by a 
public crier or officer of a court to attract attention : 
generally uttered three times, Oyez, oyez, oyezl 

PALMER (F.P. passim), a pilgrim returned from the Holy 
Sepulchre, but also an itinerant monk travelling from 
shrine to shrine under a perpetual vow of poverty. 
" The difference between a pilgrim and a palmer was 
thus : The pilgrim had some home or dwelling-place ; 
but the palmer had none. The pilgrim travelled to 
some certain designed place or places ; but the palmer 
to all. The pilgrim went at his own charges ; but 
the palmer professed wilful poverty, and went upon 
alms. The pilgrim might give over his profession 
and return home ; but the palmer must be constant 
till he had obtained the palm, that is, victory over all 
spiritual enemies, and life by death, and thence his 
name Palmer, or else from a staff, or boughs of 
palm, which he always carried along with him." 
Staveley, Romish Horseleech (1769), 93. 

PARDE, PARDIE (passim), a form of oath, but often 
used in a watered-down sense = verily, certainly : par 

PARDON-BOWL, " to kiss the pardon-bowl " (F.P. 
the 'Pothecary has an eye on similar devices for 
granting pardons : e.g. the angelus bell, popularly 
named the pardon-bell, because special pardons were 
formerly granted to those who on hearing it recited 
the angelus correctly. 

PARDONER (passim), a person licensed to sell papal 
pardons or indulgences. " Pardoners were certaine 
fellowes that caried about the Pope's Indulgences, and 
sold them to such as would buy them ; against whom 
Luther, by Sleydans report, incensed the people of 
Germany in his time, exhorting them ne merces tarn 
viles tanti emerent." Cowell, Interpreter (1607), 
Sign. A A A 2. See Palmer. 

PARDONER AND THE FRERE, THE. The text is given on 
pp. 1-25. The only copy known, formerly Heber's, 
is now in the library of the Duke of Devonshire : the 

254 Note-Book and Word-List [PARSON 

title-page is missing. The date of composition is 
unknown. If the reference (o.a) to Pope Leo Tenth 
is taken as referring to a reigning pontiff, the play 
must have been written before 1521, but see Ter 
minal Essay (E.E.D.S., Heywood's Complete Works, 
Vol. III.). ' Editions (i) printed by Rastell, 5 April, 
J 533 5 ( 2 ) facsimile reprint, 1820 ; (3) in Four Old 
Plays, ed. Child, Cambridge, U.S.A., 1848; (4) in 
Hazlitt's Dodsley (i. 1874). " I ts cnie f er d appears 
to have been the exposure of the tricks and imposi 
tions practised by wandering friars and pardoners, 
who bore relics to cheat the unthinking laity of their 
money. To both these classes Heywood is unsparing 
in his censure, as he also is in his Four P's." Fair- 
holt, Wit and Folly, li. " This piece ... is destitute 
of the allegorical element and ... is a mere dramatic 
interlocution, lightly and Snartificially constructed, 
with little or no plot " (Dodsley, Old Plays (1874), i. 

PARSON, " Master parson ... my mistress, your wife " 
(W. 1046). As (says Pollard) the play was written 
before 1533 when the clergy were still celebates this 
is clearly only Merry Report's humour. 

PARTLETS (F.P. 36^), ruffs or bands for women, worn 
about the neck and upper part of the chest : origin 
ally a neckerchief of linen or the like. 

PASTAUNCE, " for dalliant pastaunce " (L. 153^), pastime. 
" To have in remembraunce Her goodly dalyaunce, 
And her goodly pastaunce." Skelton, Ph. Sparrow 
(c. 1500), 1095. 

PATERNOSTER WHILE (L. 165^), the time it takes to say 
a paternoster. " Al thys was don, as men say, in a 
Pater Noster wyle." Paston Letters (1448), i. 74. 

PATRICK'S PURGATORY, SAINT (F.P. 306), " this place, 
which was much frequented by pilgrims, was situate 
on a lake called Logh Derg, in the Southern part of 
the county of Donegal, near the borders of Tyrone 
and Fermanagh. It was surrounded with wild and 
barren mountains, and was almost inaccessible by 
horsemen even in summer time, on account of great 
bogs, rocks, and precipices, which environed it. The 
popular tradition concerning it is as ridiculous as is 

PECKING-IRON] Note-Book and Word-List 255 

to be found in any legend of the Romish Martyrology, 
After continuing in great credit many years, it began 
to decline ; and in the i3th of Henry the Seventh was 
demolished with great solemnity, on St Patrick's Day, 
by the Pope's express order. It, however, afterwards 
came into reputation again, insomuch that, by an 
order of the Privy Council, dated i3th of September 
1632, it was a second time destroyed. From this 
period, as pilgrimages grew less in fashion, it will 
appear extraordinary that the place should be a third 
time restored to its original state, and as much visited 
as in any former period. In this condition it con 
tinued until the second year of Queen Anne, when an 
Act of the Irish Parliament declared, that all meetings 
and assemblies there should be adjudged riots and 
unlawful assemblies, and inflicted a penalty upon 
every person meeting or assembling contrary to the 
Statute. The ceremonies to be performed by the pil- 

S-ims are very exactly set forth in Richardson's 
reat Folly, Superstition, and Idolatry of Pilgrimages 
in Ireland, especially of that to St Patrick's Pur 
gatory, Dublin, 8vo, 1727. Enough hath been already 
said on the subject of Saint Patrick's Purgatory, I 
shall therefore only add, that it is often mentioned in 
Froissard's Chronicle, and that Sir James Melvil, who 
visited it in 1545, describes it as looking ' like an old 
coal-pit, which had taken fire, by reason of the smoke 
that came out of the hole.'" Melvil, Memoirs, p. 9, 
edit. 1683. " It is mentioned in Erasmus's Praise of 
Folie, 1549, Sign. A : ' Whereas before ye satte all 
heavie and glommyng, as if ye had come lately from 
Troponius cave, or Saint Pattrickes purgatorie ' " 

PAYMENT-STICK, " her payment-stick by her side " (J.T. 
7o&), the staff or cudgel with which chastisement was 
to be administered. " Syre launcelot . . . chafe his 
hede and neck vnto the throte . . . Now hast thou 
thy payement that long thou hast deserued." Malory, 
Arthur (1470-85), VI. x. 

PHASING, " in peasing your pains " (L. i87c), appeasing. 

PECKING-IRON (W. n8b), an iron with which millstones 
are dressed. " If thy mill-stones be not worne too 

256 Note-Book and Word-List [PEEL'D PRIEST 

blunt for want of pecking.' 1 Harvey, PL Perc. (1589), 
10 (1860). 

PEEL'D PRIEST (J.T. 766), shorn, tonsured. 

PERCASE, " my percase " (J.T. 7id), guess, conjecture. 

PERFIT, " are you perfit in drinking " (P.P. 38a), perfect, 
skilful, seasoned. Also perfitly, adv. 

PER SE, " I per se I " (W. g6c), see I. 

PHEBE (W. 946), the dispenser of rain : see Saturn. 

PHEBUS (W. 946), the dispenser of sunshine : see Saturn. 

PIG, " a pig in the worse panyer " (J.T. 890), a pro 
verbial phrase: also in Hey wood's Proverbs, II., 
xi. " Who that hath either of these pigs in ure, He 
hath a pig of the worse pannier sure." 

PINCASES (P.P. 366), pins are mentioned in a statute 
of 1483. " Brass pins," says Haydn, " were brought 
from France in 1540," but it would seem from this 
passage that they were really introduced at an earlier 

PINKING, "my eyes will be pinking" (P.P. 380), wink 
ing, blinking. 

PITH, " hath pith sufficient " (L. 1846), strength, co 
gency, weight, importance. 

PLUMPING, " plumping all manner corn " (W. 1156), to 
swell out. 

PLY, " ply it " (W. 133^, use, employ. 

POIGNETS (P.P. 36^), " little bodkins or puncheons " 
(Cotgrave, s.v. Pinconnet) ; but surely wristbands (Fr. 

POINT, " point us a day " (W. 1286), appoint. 

POINT DEVICE " at all points, point device " (L. 154^), to 
a nicety, exactly: from O.Fr. d point devis = io the 
very point imagined. 

POLL, " I came not ... to poll nor to shave " (P.P. 
3c), plunder, pillage, rob. " With polling and shaving." 
Skelton, Works (Dyce, ii. 29), d. 1529. 

TOTHECARY (P.P. passim), an apothecary. 

P'SUMING] Note-Book and Word-List 257 

POULES, " Church of Poules " (J.T. 71^) " Saint 
Powle " (W.W. 2090), St Paul's in London : this was 
the edifice (which preceded the present Cathedral) com 
menced in 1087 and totally destroyed in the Great 
Fire in 1666. 

PRATELY, " served thus prately " (L. 158^), prettily, 
softly, gently, lovingly. 

PREFARDE, " the witty wise worker to be prefarde 
Above th'idle sot" (W.W. 2170), preferred. 

PREFE, " indifferent prefe " (L. 1840) " ye put for 
prefe " (W.W. 2090), proof. 

PREST, " to find me prest " (P.P. 37^) " make them 
prest" (P.P. 41^), ready; Fr. Pret. " What must be, 
must be; Caesar's prest for all." Ccesar and Pompey 

PREVAIL, "nought should prevail you" (J.T. 690) 
" shall greatly prevail you " (W T . iO3a), avail, have 
effect on, influence over. 

PREBENDS, " no prebends ne exhibition " (P.P. 190), the 
stipend or maintenance granted to a canon of a 
cathedral or collegiate church out of its estate ; a 
canonry. There are two kinds of prebends : a Simple 
Prebend is one restricted to the revenue only ; a Dig 
nitary Prebend has jurisdiction annexed to it (Enc. 

PRICED, " how rain hath priced corn within this vii 
year " (W. 1440), " the earliest reference to a dearth 
of corn in the reign of Henry VIII. which I can find 
in Holinshed is sub anno 1523, when he states that 
the price in London was 20 s. a quarter, but without 
assigning any cause. The reference here is, I think, 
clearly to the great rains of the autumn of 1527 and 
April and May, 1528, of which Holinshed writes that 
they ' caused great floods and did much harme namelie 
in corne, so that the next yeare [1528?] it failed 
. . . and great dearth ensued ' " (Pollard). 

PSALTER, "Our lady's psalter" (W. me; W. 1344:), 
the Psalms appointed for the " Hours of the Blessed 

P'SUMING (W.W. i94c), presuming. 


258 Note-Book and Word-List [PURLIEU 

PURLIEU, " purlieus and chases " (W. 1076), see Chases. 

PURSE, " your tongue in your purse " (W.W. 2oid), a 
proverbial injunction to silence ; Heywood, however, 
does not include it in his Proverbs. 

PURVEYED, " I am purveyed " (W. 1280), provided. 

QUEAN, " such gross queans as thou art " (W. 1230), 
primarily a woman, without regard to character or 
position ; hence slut, hussy, strumpet. A distinc 
tion was made in M.E. between Queen and Quean 
(Quein Queyn) : a notable example occurs in Piers 
Plowman (ix. 46) : " At church in the charnel cheorles 
aren yuel to knowe, Other a knyght fro a knave other 
a queyne fro a queene." 

QUERE, " the organs bear brunt of half the quere " (W. 
ii3b), choir. 

QUITE, " God shall quite you well " (P.P. lob), redeem, 
deliver, release. 

RAGEOUS, " rageous wind " (W. 114^), furious, like a 
hurricane. " The boystrous wyndes and the ragious 
skie." Lydgate, Bochas (1430-40), i. 2 (1544) 5. 

RAGMAN-ROLLS, " publish his ragman-rolls with lies " 
(P.P. 22d), a rigmarole, tedious story. Ragman-roll 
or rageman-roll was the name given (O.E.D.) to a 
statute of 4 Ed. I. appointing justices to hear and 
determine complaints of injuries done within 25 
years previously. Concurrent and derived meanings 
are numerous a roll, list, contract, official document, 
discourse, rhapsody, &c. many of which have ap 
parently been influenced by rageman the Devil. 

RATHER, " would God this relic had come rather " 
(P.P. 45c), sooner, earlier. " After me is comun a 
man, which was maad bifor me ; for he was rather 
than Y." Wyclif, John L (1388), 30. 

RAUGHT, " Or ever I r aught them " (W. 13 ic), reached. 
" Rawghting after the empty shadow of blissfull life." 
Golding, Calvin on Ps. xix. 9 (1571). 

RAYED, " rayed my clothes " (J.T. 87^), bewrayed, 

REPARATIONS] Note-Book and Word-List 259 

RECEIVE, " teyse and receive on every side " (W. 1030), 
rouse game and call off and kill. 

REDBURNE (P.P. 306), within 3 miles of St Albans. 
" At this place were founde the reliques of Amphiball. 
who is saide to be the instructour and convertour of 
Alban from Paganisme, of whose reliques such was 
the regard that the abbottes of the monasterie of 
Alban had, that they should be devoutly preserved, 
that a decree was made by Thomas then abbott, that 
a pryor and three munckes should be appointed to this 
holie function, whose allowance in those dayes 
amounted yearely to 20 pound, or upwardes, as much 
as three hundred pound in this age." Norden, Descr. 
Hartfordshire, 22. " Bishop Usher has proved that 
this saint never existed, and that we owe the honour 
of his saintship to a mistaken passage in the Legend 
of St Alban, when the Amphibolus there mentioned 
is nothing more than a cloak." Dr. Middleton, Letter 
from Rome. 

REDE, " I rede you beware " (W. 122^), warn. 

REFORMABLE, " of reason I will be reformable " (L. 1410) 
capable of being instructed or informed. 

REGENT, THE (F,P. 500). " The Regent was one of the 
largest ships of war in the time of King Henry the 
Eighth. In the fourth year of his reign, Sir Thomas 
Knevet, master of the horse, and Sir John Carew, of 
Devonshire, were appointed captains of her, and in 
company with several others she was sent to fight the 
French fleet near Brest haven. An action accordingly 
ensued, and The Regent grappled with a French 
carrick, which would have been taken, had not a 
gunner on board the vessel, to prevent her falling into 
the hands of the English, set fire to the powder-room. 
This communicating the flames to both ships, they 
shared the same fate together, being both burnt. On 
the part of the French 900 men were lost ; and on 
that of the English more than 700 " (See Hall's Chro 
nicle, 1548, fol. 21). Reed. 

REHEATING, " ye come in revelling and reheating " (W. 
1096), making merry, rejoicing. 

REPARATIONS, " were not reparations " (W. io8J), re 
pairs, making good defects. 

S 2 

260 Note-Book and Word-List [REPREFE 

REPREFE, " to their reprefe " (P.P. qd), reproof. 

REQUIRE, "I thee require" (J.T. jgd), ask, request, 
order, call upon. " In humblest manner I require 
your highness That it shall please you to declare . . . 
whether ever I Did broach this business." 
Shakspeare, Henry VIII. (1601), ii. 4. 

REVERENCE, " saving your reverence " (J.T. ySd), with 

all respect : apologetic. 
REWARD, " stand at reward " (W. i23c), as the object of. 

RHODES (F.P. 3oa), an island to which the Knights Hos 
pitallers, now Knights of Malta, retired, on being 
driven out of Jerusalem. The Knights Hospitallers 
were a community whose office was to relieve the 
poor, the strangers, and the sick. They built an 
hospital at Jerusalem in 1046 which was capable in 
1 1 12 of receiving 2,000 guests, and included an in 
firmary for the sick. The Knights Hospitallers were 
also called the Knights of St John ; and, on re 
moving to Malta, the Knights of Malta. 

RICHARD, SAINT (F.P. 300), probably (says Reed) Richard 
Fitz-Neale, bishop of London and Treasurer of 
England in the time of Henry II. His shrine was 
(Weever, 714) in St Paul's Church ; and as he con 
tributed largely to the building of the church, it is 
conjectured to have been erected there on that account. 
Drayton, however (Poly-Olbion, xxiv.), speaks of 
others, " Richard, the dear son to Lothar king of 
Kent "; " Richard ... of St Andrews ... the 
bishop . . . for fame his holiness had won"; and 
"of Chichester St Richard." 

RIGHT, " in the self right " (W. io6a), in the same 

ROCK, SAINT (F.P. 30*;), St Roche (or Roke), born at 
Montpelier in France ; and died in prison at Angleria 
in the province of Lombardy, where a large church 
was built in honour of him (Reed). 

RONNER, see Lydger. 

ROOD, " the good rood of Dagenham " (F.P. 306), a 
cross or crucifix ; spec, a representation of the cruci 
fied Saviour, or, more generally, of the Trinity placed 
in Catholic churches over the altar-screen. The rood 

SAVIOUR'S] Note-Book and Word-List 261 

consisted of the three Persons of the Trinity, the Son 
being represented as crucified. Generally figures of 
the Virgin and St John were placed at a slight 
distance on each side of the principal group, in re 
ference to John xxix. 26. Hearne, in his Glossary to 
Peter Langtoft, p. 544, under the word cross observes 
that, although the cross and the rood are commonly 
taken for the same, yet the rood properly signified 
formerly the image of Christ on the cross, so as to 
represent both the cross and the figure of our blessed 
Saviour as He suffered upon it. The roods that were 
in churches and chapels were placed in shrines, that 
were styled Rood-lofts. " Rood-loft (saith Blount), a 
shrine, whereon was placed the cross of Christ. The 
rood was an image of Christ on the cross, made gene 
rally of wood, and erected in a loft for that purpose, 
just over the passage out of the church into the 
chancel." But roof-loft sometimes also signifies a 
shrine, on which was placed the image or relics of a 
saint, because generally a crucifix, or a cross, used 
likewise to attend such image or relics. 

ROOST, ROAST, " rule the roast " (P.P. 43^), lead, 
domineer. " He ruleth all the roste With bragging 
and with boste." Skelton, Why Come Ye Not? (d. 

ROUND, " my mind round " (W. m&), roundly, com 

RUNNER, "beware your runner'' (W. u8a), the turn 
ing stone of a mill. 

SATURN, " Saturn and Phebus, Eolus and Phebe " 
(W. 946), " the dispensers respectively of frost, sun 
shine, wind, and rain " (Pollard). 

SAVIOUR'S, SAINT (P.P. 300), now the Cathedral of 
South wark. " In September, the same yeare (says 
Weever), viz., an. 30 Hen. 8, by the speciall motion 
of great Cromwell, all the notable images, vnto the 
which were made any especiall pilgrimages and offer 
ings, as the images of our Lady of Walsingham, 
Ipswich, Worcester, the Lady of Wilsdon, the rood 
of grace of our Ladie of Boxley, and the image of 
the rood of Saint Saviour at Bermondsey, with all 
the rest, were brought vp to London, and burnt at 

262 Note-Book and Word-List [SCATH 

Chelsey, at the commandement of the foresaid Crom 
well, all the Jewels and other rich offerings to these, 
and to the shrines (which were all likewise taken 
away, or beaten to peeces) of other Saints throughout 
both England and Wales were brought into the King's 
Treasurie." Edit. 1631, p. in. 

SCATH, " and other like scath " (W.W. 195^), harm, 
loss, damage. " For harme and scathe by hym done 
in Fraunce." Fabyan, Chronicle, Ixxv. 

Scio (W. io6b), Chios. 

SCOURED, " thou has scoured a pair of stocks " (P.F. 
240), been in the stocks : to scour the cramp-rings = to 
lie in chains (Harman, 1573). 

SCRAT, " scrat and bite " (P.F. sac), scratch. " Am 
bitious mind, a world of wealth would haue, So scrats, 
and scrapes, for scorfe and scornie drosse." Mirrour 
for Magistrates, p. 506. 

SEELED, " hath seeled such perfection " (WAV. ig?>c) t 
sanctioned, attested, established. " Seal the title with 
a lovely kiss." Shakspeare, Taming of the Slirew 
(1593), iii. 2. 

SEEN. See Well-seen. 

SELDE, " her selde presence " (L. 145^) " right selde 
or never" (W. md), rare, scarce, seldom; cf. seld- 
shown (Shakspeare, Cor. ii. i) = rarely seen in public. 

SENSE, " sense the sheriff with your heels " (W. 126^), 
swing to and fro before the sheriff as a censer is 
swung by a thurifer (Pollard) : sensen = to incense 
(Mandeville, Travels, 174 ; Hollyband, Diet. [1593], 
s.v. Encenser). 

SEVEN SINS, " forgiven for the sins seven " (P.F. 13^), 
pride, covetousness, lust, gluttony, anger, envy, sloth. 

SEVEN SLEEPERS (F.P. 44*:), "these seven sleepers are 
said to have lived at Ephesus in the time of the 
Emperor Decian. Being commanded to sacrifice ac 
cording to the Pagan manner, they fled to a cave in 
Mount Ceylon, where they fell asleep, and continued 
in that state 372 years, as is asserted by some, though 
according to others only 208 years. They awoke in 
the reign of the Emperor Theodosian, who, being in 
formed of this extraordinary event, came from Con- 

SHORN] Note-Book and Word-List 263 

stantinople to see them, and to satisfy himself of the 
truth of the relation. Having communicated to him 
the several circumstances of their case, they all, as 
the Legenda Aurea expresses it, ' enclyned theyr hedes 
to th' erth, and rendred their spyrites at the com- 
maundement of our Lorde Jesu Cryst, and soo 
deyed.' " See Legenda Aurea, 196 (Reed). 

SEVEN YEAR, "within this seven year" (W. n^c), see 

SHALL, (a) " no shall " (J.T. 68a). Elliptical (cf. J.T. 
8ya) : " And had ye no meat, John John? no had? " 
(&) a whither I shall " (L. ISQC), so in orig. ? shall be. 

SHATTER, SHATTERING (W. noc), scatter, blow about : 
hence shattering = flying apart. 

SHAVE, " I come not ... to poll or to shave " (P.F 
30), to strip, to fleece, to extort. " Then haue you 
Brokers yat shaue poore men by most iewish interest 
. . . Then haue you the Shauing of Fatherlesse chil 
dren, and of widowes, and that's done by Executors." 
Dekker, Seven Deadly Sinnes (1606), 40 (Arber). 

SHERIFF, " sense the sheriff with your heels " (W. 126^), 
see Sense. 

SHITTEN SAIL, "shatter the shitten sail" (W. uoc), 
worthless : generic abuse. Here " the wind is hardly 
strong enough to stir the torn bedraggled rags of a 
woman's gown." 

SHOOTER'S HILL (W. iooa), near Greenwich. 

SHORN, MASTER JOHN (P.P. 3oc), " who (says Reed) this 
John Shorn was, I can give no account. In the 
preface to The Accedence of Armorie, 410, 1562, a 
story is told of one who had been called to worship 
in a city within Middlesex, and who being desired by 
a herald to show his coat (i.e. of arms), 
' called unto his mayd, commanding her to fetch 
his coat, which, being brought, was of cloth garded 
with a burgunian gard of bare velvet, well bawdefied 
on the halfe placard, and squallotted in the fore 
quarters. Lo, quoth the man to the heraught, here 
it is, if ye will buy it, ye shall have time of payment, 
as first to pay halfe in hand, and the rest by and by. 

264 Note-Book and Word-List [SHORTER 

And with much boste he said, he ware not the same 
since he came last from Sir John Shorne,' &c." 
Latimer (p. 1866) says, "Ye shall not thinke that 
I will speake of the popish pilgrimage, which we 
were wont to use in times past, in running hither 
and thither, to M. John Shorne, or to our lady of 
Walsingham. No, no, I will not speake of such 
fooleries." Possibly, from his being called Sir John, 
we may conjecture that a priest of Shorne in Kent 
is alluded to. 

SHORTER, " tied shorter " (W. 1090), given less freedom. 

SHORTLY, " I go shortly " (J.T. 750), " in the French 
farce Fernet qui va au vin " (Pollard). There are 
similar false starts and returnings, but in that case 
Pernet keeps coming back to watch his wife and her 

SHOT, "while the shot is tinking " (P.P. 380), the 
reckoning, share of expense. There he bestowed 
cheare and ipocras vpon them, drinking hard til the 
shot came to a noble." Green, Notable Disc. (1591). 
" I'll to the alehouse with you presently; where for 
one shot of five pence, thou shalt have five thousand 
welcomes." Shakspeare, Two Gent. (1595), Hi- 5- 

SHOT-ANCHOR, " his ointment is even shot-anchor " (P.P. 
46^), a sheet-anchor : orig. and properly shoot-anchor, 
i.e. an anchor to be shot out or lowered in case of 
great danger. Here, fig. the last refuge or resort for 

SHREW, "I shrew thy heart" (P.P. 2ic, et passim), 

beshrew, curse. 
SHYT, " the door to her she shyt " (L. 1586), shut. 

SIGHT, " I have some sight in singing " (P.P. 386), to 
read at sight = to read a piece at first sight without 
previous knowledge. 

SIMPER DE COCKET (W. 122^), wanton ; Mdlle. Simper 
de Coquette. " An affected mealy-mouthed girl " 

SIMPLE, "simple office" (W. 129") foolish, mean, of 
little account. 

SOMER] Note-Book and Word- List 265 

SIPERS (P.P. 366), i.e. Cyprus; thin stuff of which 
women's veils were made. So in Shakspeare's 
Winter's Tale, A. 4, S. 3 " Lawn as white as 
driven snow, Cyprus black as any crow." Again, in 
Twelfth Night " A Cyprus, not a bosom Hides my 
poor heart " (Steevens). 

SIR JOHN (J.T. passim), generic for a priest : familiar 
or contemptuous. " From Sir as rendering L. 
dominus at the Universities " (O.E.D.). Also Mass 
(or Mess) John, and in Wyclif Sir Jack. 

SISTREN, " brethren and sistren " (P.F. 190), an old 
pi. of sister : this inflexion is now obsolete except in 
oxen, children, and brethren, the last named being 
now unusual save in poetry. 

SITH, " sith God were bore " (P.F. i^c, et passim) 
" sith it is so " (J.T. 8yd) " sith he is gone " (L. 
i8oa), since ; and as conj. seeing that. 

SKILLS, " what skills our apparel " (W. 970) " what the 
devil should skill though all the world were dumb " 
(W io8&), what (what the devil) matters, signify : 
in Shakspeare, " it skills not." 

SLIDDER, " the way to heaven is very slidder " (P.F. 
i2d), slippery : slyder, glissant (Palsgrave). 

SLOUCH, " thou slouch " (P.F. 2ic), a term of con 
tempt : in a MS. glossary (quoted by Halliwell) slouch 
is defined as " a lazy lubber, who has nothing tight 
about him, with his stockings about his heels, his 
clothes unbutton 'd, and his hat flapping about his 

SLOUGH, " where that thou slough " (P.F. 236), killed, 

SMOKE, " beaten her till she smoke " (J.T. 6yd), i.e. 
till a dust is raised by beating : cf. dust one's jacket. 
" I'll smoke your skin-coat an I catch you right." 
Shakspeare, King John (1596), i., 139. 

SOLICITOR, " I beseech you be my solicitor " (W, 109^), 
in the old sense of one who asks or begs with earnest 

SOMER, MASTER (W.W. 1940), a jester attached to the 
Court of King Henry VIII. Full accounts of this 

266 Note-Book and Word-List [SONG 

buffoon will be found (a) in a tract, printed in 1676, 
and reprinted in 1794, entitled " A Pleasant History 
of the Life and Death of Will Summers : how he 
came to be first known at Court, and by what means 
he got to be King Henry the Eighth's Jester : with 
the Entertainment that his Cousin Patch, Cardinal 
Wolsey's Fool, gave him at his Lord's House; and 
how the Hogsheads of Gold were known by his 
means"; and (b) in the Shakspeare Society's reprint 
of Armin's Nest of Ninnies (1608) ; also see Sot infra. 
Armin thus describes Somer's personal appearance 
and traits : 

" Leane he was, hollow eyde, as all report, 
And stoop he did, too ; yet in all the court 
Few men were more belov'd then was this foole 
Whose merry prate kept with the King much rule. 
When he was sad the King and he would rime : 
Thus Will exiled sadness many a time." 
His popularity with the King is corroborated by con 
temporary anecdotes, and he used the power he 
possessed for the best purpose. Armin says 

" He was a poor man's friend 
And helpt the widow often in the end, 
The King would even grant what he would crave, 
For well he knew Will no exacting knave, 
But wisht the King to doe good deeds great store, 
Which caus'd the court to love him more and more " 
in view of which Hey wood's diatribe against Somer 
is curious (see Sot). One of his last acts of kindness 
is recorded by Granger. He says, that Somer was 
at one time a servant in the family of Richard 
Farmer, Esq., of Eston W T eston, in Northampton 
shire, ancestor to the Earl of Pomfret, who was found 
guilty of a prremunire for sending eightpence and a 
ccuple of shirts to a priest in Buckingham gaol who 
had denied the king's supremacy ; he was deprived 
of all his property and reduced to* a state of miserable 
dependence ; but Somer in Henry's last illness dropped 
some expressions, which so affected the king's 
conscience that he restored the dismembered estates 
to Will's old master (Fairholt, with additions). 

SONG, " devoutly song every year " (P.F. 190), sung. 
SOOL, " sool possessed " (W. 1340), solely. 

SPRINGING] Note-Book and Word-List 267 

SOON, " abide till soon " (P.P. 176), the evening. 
SOOTH, "in sooth" (P.P. 6d), truth. 

SORT, " the whole sort of my craft " (W. no&) " such 
another sort " (W. laSc), assembly, set, company (or 
lot) of people. " Remember whom you are to cope 
withall, A sort of vagabonds, rascals, and run 
aways." Shakspeare, Richard III. (1597), v. 3. 

SOT, " admit all sots " (W.W. 193^) " Somer is a 
sot " (W.W. 2iod), a fool : in the old signification of 
the word ( = natural fool, idiot) there was no implica 
tion that lack of sense arose from drunkenness : cf. 
" saith the sot, the natural fool call'd, or th' idiot " 
(W.W. 193^). Fairholt holds that " the term is not 
fairly applied to Somer," and Hey wood certainly 
seems to have been either splenetic towards, or 
jealous of, the king's favourite jester (see W.W. 
2iod-2iib). Collin, in his introduction to the Nest 
of Ninnies, says : " he was a jester of a different 
character to the others, inasmuch as he was an 
artificial fool a witty person, affecting simplicity for 
the sake of affording amusement." Much to the 
same effect will be found s.v. Somer, supra. 

SOTHERY BUTTER (P.P. 540), sweet or fresh made : 
sote = sweet. 

SOUTHWELL, OUR LADY OF (P.P. 300), the church dedi 
cated to Saint Mary at Southwell, in Nottinghamshire. 

SOWNE, " fall in a sowne " (J.T. 876), swoon. 

SPEED, " in despair of speed " (L. 1470), luck, fortune, 
success in an undertaking. " Happy be thy speed." 
Shakspeare, Taming of the Shrew (1593), ii. 

SPIN, " more tow on my distaff than I can well spin " 
(P.P. 250), proverbial for more in hand than can well 
be undertaken. The phrase occurs again in the 

SriTAL, " in some spital " (W. 1260), lazar-house, 

SPRINGING, " springing ... all manner corn " (W. 
1156), quickening, causing to vegetate, grow. 

268 Note-Book and Word-List [SQUIRE 

SQUIRE, " squire for God's precious body " (W. ggc), 
originally a squire of the body was an attendant on 
a knight, but subsequently the meaning was debased 
to designate a pimp. 

STARK, " stark dead " (J.T. 68d), " so stark a knave " 
(W. 1260) " a stark fool " (L. 153^), wholly, abso 
lutely, entirely : the original sense = stiff, rigid as in 
death ; now mainly confined to the phrase stark 

STATIONS, " gone the stations all a-row " (P.P. 29^), 
the stages or regular places of rest for pilgrims 
between London and Rome, or the Holy Land, of 
which there is a map in a MS. of Moth. Paris Roy. 
Libr., 14 C. vii., and Benet. Coll., c. ix. and PI. 
VII. Brit. Topog., i., 85, G. (Reed) : see also 
Stacyons of Rome (E.E.T.S., ed. Furnivall) : " And 
forasmuch as ther be many that hath wrytten of the 
Holy Lande of the stacyons & of the lurney or way, 
I doo passe ouer to speake forther of this matter." 
Borde, Intr. Knowledge (1542). 

STEWS, " a haunter of the stews " (J.T. 74*;), a brothel, 
or street of brothels ; " a place for comen women^" 
(Palsgrave). " These abominable sfeiy-houses were 
kept in Southwark . . . being whited houses, painted 
with signes to know them. These bawdy houses were 
tollerated, and had lawes and orders made for the 
stew-holders to observe." Proclamation (1546) [MSS. 
note by R. Smith quoted by Hearne, Diary, October 
12, 1713]. " [They] shal breake downe thy stewes, 
and destroy thy brodel houses." Coverdale, Bible 
(1535), Ezek. xvi., 39. 

STICK, " stick not for a penny " (P.P. 2ia), scruple not. 

I know a younker that will ease you .... That 

will not stick to marry you within this hour." 

Marr., Wit and Science (1569) (E.E.D.S. Anony. PI., 

4th Ser.). 

STOCKFISH, " stockfish in Thames Street " (J.T. 70^), 
now rough fish, such as cod, ling, &c., split open and 
dried in the sun without salting : formerly, however, 
and probably in this case it was salted so hard that 
it had to be softened by beating before cooking. 

TAKE] Note-Book and Word-List 269 

STOCKS, " scoured a pair of stocks " (P.P. 240), see 

STONES, " both thy stones in my purse " (W. I25&), 

here the meaning both of stones and purse is obscene : 

stones = testes ; purse = pud. mul. " Damp. Your 

ladyship sets too high a price on my weakness. Han. 

Sir, I can distinguish gems from pebbles . 

Damp. Are you so skilled in stones? [Aside.] " 

Jonson, Silent Woman (1609), v. i. 
STYNTE, " to stynte the debate " (J.T. 790), i.e. stint 

or lessen : stynte in original is misprinted stynk. 

Thought in next line is likewise misprinted though, 

my two lines lower down misprinted me. 
SUDBURY (W. iooa), there are two Sudburys one in 

Suffolk and another in Middlesex. 
SUFFICIANCE, "meat for my sufficiance " (J.T. 8yd), 

need, sufficiency. 
SUNDAY (SAINT), " sweet Saint Sunday " (P.P. ya), like 

All Hallows and Holy Trinity, a piece of humour on 

the part of the Pardoner. 

SUPPORTATION, " your patience and supportation " (P.P. 
5&), support, countenance. 

SUSPECT, SUSPECTION, " in suspect " (J.T. 72c), sus 
picion. " And draw within the compass of suspect 
Th' unviolated honour of your wife." Shakspeare, 
Com. of Er. (1593), iii., i. 

SWATHBANDS (P.P. 36??), rollers in which infants were 
swathed. So, in Timon of Athens, " Had thou, like 
us, from thy first swath," &c. (Steevens). 

SWEETING, "his own sweeting" (W. 97^) "my sweet 
ing" (L. 1540), (a) a mistress, pour le bon motif; 
and (6) a wanton. 

SYNDE, " where men will have her synde " (W. 1330), 

TAKE (TAK in orig.), " and th' auditor's wit who shall 
take th' account so clear " (W.W. 2o6b), give : 
A.S. " And alle that they aske scho wylle them 
take, For drede of theym, swylke boste they make." 
MS. Harl. 2260, f. 59. " But take hur an oolde 
stede." MS. Cantab. Ff. ii. 38, f. 72. 

270 Note- Book and Word- List [TAIL 

TAIL, see Feofed. 

TAIL-PIN, " fiddling with the tail-pin " (P.P. 370), there 
is probably a double meaning here : see Slang and its 
Analogues, s.v. Tail, subs. 2. 

TALLEST, " the tallest man within this town " (P.P. 
5oa), tall, in old colloquial usage, is generic for 
worth. Thus tall ( = seemly) prayers; a tall 
( = valiant) man; tall ( = fine) English; a tall 
( = courageous) spirit; a tall ( = celebrated) philo 
sopher; to stand *a// = to rely boldly; tally ( = be 
comingly or finely) attired; a tall ( = great) compli 
ment, &c. " One of the tallest young men." 
Paston Letters (1448-60), 224. 

TAMPION, " I thrust a tampion in her tewell " (P.P. 
506, &c.) " the allusion is to gunnery. Thampion 
(tampon, Fr., a bung, cork, or plug of wood) is now 
written tampion, and signifies the stopper with which 
the mouths of cannon are closed up, to prevent the 
admission of rain, or sea water, whereby their charges 
might be rendered incapable of service. A tewel 
(tuyau or tuyal, Fr.) is a pipe ; and is here used (for 
the sake of continuing the metaphor) for bore or 
calibre. Moxon, in his Mechanick Exercises, 
defines the tewel to be that pipe in a smith's forge 
into which the nose of the bellows is introduced ; 
and in a MS. fragment, said to be written by Sir 
Francis Drake, concerning the stores of one of the 
ships under his command, the word tewel is applied 
to a gun " (Steevens). 

TASTED, " so far tasted " (W. i2oa), i.e. decayed : the 
author's eye was probably on the proverb, " a new 
moon is made of green cheese." 

TEN BONES (or COMMANDMENTS), " by these ten bones " 
(F.P. 580) " thy wife's ten Commandments " (F.P. 
5ga), the ten fingers : spec, of women. By these ten 
bones was a common oath of the time, in punning 
reference to the Mosaic Decalogue. " By these bonys 
ten thei be to you vntrue." Digby Myst. (c. 1485), 
4 note (1882). " I'd set my ten Commandments *\n 
your face." Shakspeare, 2 Henry VI. (1594), i., 3. 

TOTHER] Note-Book and Word- List 271 

TEWELL, " I thrust a tampion in her tewell " (P.P. 
506), properly tail, and hence fundament, which is 
still good Norfolkese as regards a horse. " And whan 
this sike man felte this frere About his towel gropen 
ther and here, Amid his hond he let the frere a fart." 
Chaucer, Cant. Tales (c. 1386), 7730. 

TEYSE, " both teyse and receive " (W. io3a), rouse 
the game and call off after bringing it down. 

THAN (passim), then. 

THANK, " knaves rob away my thank " (F.P. 33^), 
gratitude, thanks. 

THOROUGH, " I have been thorough " (F.P. 570), 

THOROUGHOUT, " thorough out the world " (F.P. 550), 

TICKLE, " the waist . . . was tickle " (L. 153^), 
wanton. " For she is tikel of hire tail. ... As com 
mune as a cartway." 

TILL, " if I stick no better till her " (W. n8c), until. 
TIPTREE (W. 99<J), in Essex. 

TONE, TOTHER (passim), once (1180-1600) literary, tother 
now vulgar the one, the other: the = thet, the old 
neuter article. " The toon yeveth conysaunce, And 
the tother ignorance." Chaucer, Rom. of Rose 
(1360), 5559 ; Tyndale sometimes, like his enemy 
More, uses the old form, " the tone, the tother." 

TONGUE IN PURSE (W.W. 2Oid), see Purse. 

Too TOO, " I love thee too too " (J.T. 72^), old literary : 
now colloquial : an intensive form of too : over-and- 
above, more than enough, very good, extreme, utter ; 
spec, (modern but obsolete) of exaggerated aestheticism. 
" It is often nothing more in sense than a strengthen 
ing of the word too, but too-too was regarded by our 
early writers as a single word " (Halliwell). 

TORMENTRY, " not in pain but in tormentry " (L. 1636), 

TOTHER, see Tone. 

272 Note-Book and Word-List [TOUCH 

TOUCH, " play me such another touch " (P.P. 2ic), dirty 
trick, ill-turn, dodge : i.e. if you continue your 
annoyance and interruption. 

Tow, " more tow on distaff," &c. (P.P. 250), see Spin. 

TOYS, " the toys, the mocks " (J.T. Sod), whims, 
fancies, idle talk, jokes, gibes, &c. " I never may 
believe these antique fables, nor these fairy toys." 
Shakspeare, Midsummer's N. Dream (1592) V. i 3. 

TRAIN, " train her by the hair about the house," to 
drag, trail. " In hollow cube Training his devilish 
enginery." Milton, Paradise Lost, vi. 553. 

TRESTLES, " on the trestles " (J.T. 760), the frames or 
bars with divergent legs, used as supports for the 
" board " of the table. 

TRIACLE, " one box of this triacle " (P.P. 46a), triacle 
is not unfrequently used for a balsam, or indeed any 
kind of infallible or powerful medicine (Collier) ; an 
antidote. " Is there no triacle in Gilead? " Wyclif, 
Jer., viii. 22. 

TRICK, " so trick it is " (W. 1226), neat, spruce, trig. 

TRICKEST, " the trickest and fairest of you all " (W. 
123^), smartest. 

TRIFLES AND KNACKS (J.T. 870), i.e. trifling, tricky 

TRINDLE (W. loSd), wheel. 

TRISE, " to trip or trise me " (L. 154?*), pull up : i.e. 
get the better of. 

TRUNNION, SAINT (P.P. 300), the following mention of 
Saint Tronion occurs in Geffrey Fenton's Tragical 
Discourses, 410, 1567, fo. 114 b: "He returned in 
haste to his lodgynge, where he attended the ap- 
proche of his hower of appointment wyth no lesse 
devocion than the Papistes in France performe their 
ydolatrous pilgrimage to the ydoll, Saynt Tronyon, 
upon the mount Avyon, besides Roan " (Reed). 
" Nay, softe, my maisters, by saincte Thomas of 
Trunions, I am not disposed to buy of your onions." 
Appius and Virginia (1575), E. 2. 

TRY, " try from port to port " (W. U2c), sail. 

VICE] Note-Book and Word-List 273 

TURDS, " my turds in ... thy teeth " (P.P. 590), a 
contemptuous address : Go to the deuce ! "A turd 
in thy little wife's teeth." Jonson, Earth. Fair 
(1614), i. i. " A turde in thy mouth, the devyll take 
thee " Harman, Caveat (1567), 86. 

TWENTY DEVIL WAY, " in the twenty devil way " (P.P. 
i8d), i.e. in the name of the devil: twenty = an in 
definite number, hence, in the twenty devil way = an 
intensified form of a common oath. 

TWIGGED, " each day be twigged " (W.W. 2090), 

UNCUMBER, SAINT (P.P. 300), see Brand, Pop. Antiq. 
Gt. Britain, ii. 136. 

UNIVERSAL, " be ye so universal? " (P.P. 37^), i.e. such 
an all-round man, such an out-of-the-ordinary person. 

UNNETH, " so pale that unneth I " (L. i66c), scarcely. 
" Uneath may she endure the filthy struts." Shak- 
speare, 2 Henry VI. (1594), ii. 4. 

UP, " up shall this pack" (P.P. 37^), elliptical: i.e. 
up on my back. 

URE, (a) " in ure " (P.P. 54a), chance, destiny, for 
tune. " So pitously gan cry On his fortune and on 
ure also." Lydgate, Complaint of the Black Knight, 
(b) " in ure " (L. 1560), use, practice. " For in the 
time that thieving was in ure.' 1 Taylor, Penniless 

VAILABLE, " for speed most vailable " (W. io5c), avail 

VARIORUM READINGS, see the different plays by name in 
this Note-Book. 

VARYING, " her shrewd varying " (J.T. Sob), badly- 
disposed temper, vixenish goings-on. 

VICE (passim). For an exhaustive and admirable essay 
see Gayley, Representative English Comedies, 
xlvi.-liv., from which the following extract must 
suffice " A general view of his history shows that 
the Vice is neither an ethical nor dramatic derivative 
of the Devil ; nor is he a pendant to that personage, 

274 Note-Book and Word-List [WAG 

as foil or ironical decoy, or even antagonist. The 
Devil of the early drama is a mythical character, a 
fallen archangel, the anthropomorphic Adversary. 
The Vice, on the other hand, is allegorical, typical 
of the moral frailty of mankind. . . . The functions 
were gradually assimilated with those of mischief- 
maker, jester, and counterfeit-crank. ... It was only 
gradually, and as the conflict between good and evil 
was supplanted by less didactic materials, in other 
words, as the moral became more of a play, that the 
Vice grew to be farcical, a mischief-maker, and 
ultimately jester." 

WAG, " I will hold ye wag another way " (W.W. 203??), 
tell another story, hold a different opinion. 

WALK, " -walk her coat, John John " (J.T. 68c), beat 
her, drub her, dust her jacket: walk = to full cloth. 

WALKED, "walked them well" (J.T. 88d), beaten, 

WALSINGHAM (P.P. 30??), in Norfolk, "where was 
anciently an image of the Virgin Mary, famous over 
all Europe for the numerous pilgrimages made to it, 
and the great riches it possessed. Erasmus has given 
a very exact and humorous description of the super 
stitions practised there in his time. See his account 
of the Virgo parathalassia, in his Colloquies 
(Gibbings, 1890) entitled Peregrinatio Religionis 
Ergo. He tells us the rich offerings in silver, gold, 
and precious stones, that were there shown him, were 
incredible ; there being scarce a person of any note in 
England, but what some time or other paid a visit. 
or sent a present, to our Lady of Walsingham. At 
the dissolution of the monasteries, in 1538, this 
splendid image, with another from Ipswich, was 
carried to Chelsea, and there burnt in the presence of 
commissioners." See Percy's Relics of Ancient 
Poetry, vol. ii. p. 79. In his Vision concerning 
Pierce Plowman, W. Langland says " Heremites on 
an heep, wyth hoked staues, Wenten to Walsyngham, 
and here wenches after " (Reed). See also Weever, 
Fun. Mon., 131, and the next entry. 

WAN] Note-Book and Word-List 275 

WALSINGHAM RING (W.W. 194^), see previous entry, in 
connection with which, it may be noted, that it was 
usual for pilgrims to bring away with them from 
these shrines leaden signs or some other token of 
their visit. These were generally of little or no 
intrinsic value, and were rudely executed in lead 
stamped with the figure of the saint, and carried in 
the hat of the male pilgrim as a " sign," or on the 
breast of the female as a " brooch." In the very 
curious museum of C. Roach Smith, Esq., F.S.A., 
is preserved one given to the pilgrims who visited the 
shrine of St Thomas a-Becket, at Canterbury, which 
has been engraved in the Archceological Album, as well 
as in Mr. Smith's Collectanea Antiqua, along with 
many other curious specimens, British and foreign. 
Other examples are engraved in the Journal of the 
British Archceological Association, vol. i. Mr. Smith 
possesses a very curious leaden brooch of our Lady 
of Walsingham ; and in Miss Wood's Letters of 
Royal and Illustrious Ladies of England, is one from 
Elizabeth Newhouse, to her son, Roger Wright, on 
the eve of the Reformation, telling him she had been 
this pilgrimage, adding, " I have no good token to 
send you at this time but a Walsingham brooch." 
Mr. Smith, in a later number of his Collectanea, 
notices that rings and other objects appear to have 
been manufactured in vast numbers, and sold to 
pilgrims and others who resorted to the ahrine of the 
three kings of Cologne. One in brass found in 
London, reads, IASPAR. MELCIOR. BALTAZAR ; another, 
in the possession of Mr. E. J. Carlos, has the two 
names only, IASPAR. BALTASAR : these are believed to 
be cramp rings (see Pettigrew On Superstitions con 
nected with the History and Practice of Medicine 
and Surgery, p. 87). The Walsingham ring was 
similar to these (Fairholt). 

WALTER, " your stomach sore to waiter " (F.P. ^6c), feel 
sick or squeamish. 

WALTHAM (F.P. 306), the holy cross of Waltham, which 
tradition says was erected in the reign of Canute : 
see Lambarde, Dictionarium (1730), 431. 

WAN, " no man hath wan " (F.P. 6id), won. 

T 2 

276 Note-Book and Word-List [WARE 

WARE, (a) " which she ware " (P.P. 70), wore. 

WARE, " or I were ware " (J.T. 750), aware. 

WARK, " a pretty piece of wark " (L. 163*;), work : 
still good Scots. 

WARRANTYSE, " shall make warrantyse " (W.W. 2010), 
warranty, assurance. 

WASTER, " nother staff nor waster " (J.T. 6ga), cudgel : 
" Wasters or cudgels used in fence-schools." Florio, 
Worlde of Wordes, 95. 

WAWLING, " leave this wawling " (J.T. 70^), cat-calling. 

WAYT, " such a wayt she took " (L. 1570), care. 

WEALTH, "I do it for your wealth " (J.T. 780), pros 
perity, success. 

WEATHER (THE PLAY OF THE) Text, pp. 91-135- There 
are four known copies, two of which are incomplete : 
(i) a copy in the Pepys Collection, Magdalen College, 
Cambridge, 1533, printed by William Rastell ; (2) in 
the library of St John's College, Oxford : this copy 
wants the last leaf, containing twenty lines of the 
text and the colophon with the printer's name, but 
it is identical with that in the Pepys Collection ; 
(3) another imperfect copy at the University Library, 
Cambridge (it lacks sixteen lines of text and the 
colophon), which has been identified as printed from 
Rastell 's edition, and to come intermediate between 
his edition of 1533 and the next entry ; (4) a perfect 
copy in the Bodleian, obviously printed by Kitson 
from No. 3 : the colophon reads " Imprynted at 
London in Paules Churchyearde at the Sygne of the 
Sunne, by Anthonie Kytson," who was publishing 
between the years 1549 and 1579. Reprinted (5), as 
far as a few extracts go, by Fairholt in his introduc 
tion to A Dialogue Concerning Witty and Wit 
less, published by the Percy Soc. (1846) ; included 
(6) in Gayley's Representative English Comedies, 
and also (7) in Prof. Brandl's Quellen des Weltlichen 
Dramas in England vor Shakspeare. Variorum Read 
ings the var. read, are those of the St John's 
College copy, except where otherwise stated The 
ancient estate (93&), That ; Solely to honour (93<i), 
Wholly ; we shall say (94a), well ; cold and hoar (94c), 

WEATHER] Note-Book and Word- List 277 

hote ; their powers be denied (94^), Poures these 
four in no manner (95a), iiii ; wholly surrendered 
(956), sundred ; shew quickly (960), shew me ; in thy 
light behaviour (960"), in the light behaviour; of too 
much lightness (960"), of much ; my manner (9701), 
name ; nor my name (97), not ; husband departed 
(970"), husbandes ; thanked me heartily (97^), 
thanketh ; have taken it (97^), take in St J. copy ; 
thine indifferency (97&), indifference ; in my conscience 
(990), on ; m Lombardy (ggd), at ; Welbeck (990"), at 
Welbeck ; at Westchester (99^), and at ; half thus 
much (ioo&), half so much ; a goodly hearing (ioo&), 
good ; pointeth to the women (loic), woman ; comfort 
the cry (iO2c), ffcy ; shall make way (loqc), make a 
way ; right humbly beseecheth (1040*), beseeched we 
may be partakers (1050), parte takers (Bodleian copy) ; 
the wind measureable (105^), winds ; next to go 
(io6a), to go to ; come again hither (io6c), thether, 
hether ; at this meeting here (1060"), his ; And if I 
cannot get (io7c), we ; For, I see (107^), I see well 
as I found ye (io8a), you touching ourselves (io8c), 
orig. ourselfes ; which is right small and (io8d), as ; 
our millstones (io8d), millstone ; wheel with her cogs 
(io8d), cog; pricked me hither (loga), pycked-, even 
boldly (ioga), even bodily ; must be tied shorter 
(1090), shalbe ; with no nother man (109^), none 
other ; my solicitor (logd), solyter ; Here entereth 
(nob), Entreth ; time of beginning (noc), to ; let 
that gear pass (ma), this ; as ye say (m&), you; 
be lords over all (me), lord mean of owr craft (me), 
your; but then by your license (ii2&), and; for a 
time shall feang (1126), stande ; both rnasi and shroud 
(ii2d), man; we spake of wind (1130), mind; afore 
we were born (ii4c), he; it were impossible (1150), 
were is omitted; springing and plumping (115?)), 
pluming; thing of necessity (1156), things; for scour 
ing (1156), showring ; may grind aJZ Jimes (ii6b), ai 
all times; help to Jfeose (n6c), chose; I think t' 
meet (n6c), ye; Entereth Merry Report (1170), Here 
entreth; tell by experience (ii7&), tell ye; gate is no 
sooner open (njc), gates not; setting your stones 
(ii8a), setting of; stick no better (n8c), not the 
better; to pass time (i2i&), of; so fet it is, so neat 
it is (1220), so far it is, so near it is ; I pray you 

278 Note-Book and Word-List [WELBECK 

(122??), ye ; have ye alway (1220), always ; your 
simper de cocket (i22d), simper the cocked ; pick not 
your pocket (i22d), pocked; little or much (1230), of ; 
not thy beauty (123^), the ; is all the joy (1240), thy ; 
devil shall have the tone (124^), one ; more ye bib 
(i25c), byd; will do no worse (1260), no omitted; 
unto such rich (i26d), tyche ; sense the sheriff (126^), 
street ; greatest friend ye have (126^), you ; how they 
flicker (1270), flytter ; all Mis time (1290), /zis ; to 
wait for mo (1290), me ; I come now (1296), to me ; 
trees to tear (129^), tree; to make snowballs (i3O&), 
balls; wide from the tother (130^), other; Such 
debate (1316), debates; pressed to your presence 
(131^), as; not in your sight (131^), is; on hills we 
(i32c), Me, hills he; fair women (132^), woman ; full 
o/ some (133^), o/ Me some ; no one craft (133^), 

WELBECK (W. 99^), in Nottinghamshire. Welbeck 
Abbey is now the seat of the Dukes of Portland. 

WELL-SEEN, " ye seem well-seen in women's causes " 
(F.P. 360), well-informed, fully cognisant. 

WENEFRED'S WELL, SAINT (F.P. 306), " Saint Wene- 
frid's well, near Holy well, in the county of Flint, is 
a spring which rises at the foot of a steep hill out 
of a rock, and is formed into a beautiful polygonal 
well, covered with a rich arch supported by pillars ; 
the roof exquisitely carved in stone. Over the fountain 
is the legend of St Wenefrid on a pendent projec 
tion, with the arms of England at the bottom. 
Numbers of fine ribs secure the arch, whose inter 
sections are coupled with some sculpture. To this 
place the resort of pilgrims was formerly very great ; 
and though considerably diminished, there are still 
to be seen in the summer a few in the water in deep 
devotion, up to their chins for hours, sending up their 
prayers, or performing a number of evolutions round 
the polygonal well ; or treading the arch between 
well and well a prescribed number of times. The 
legend of St. Wenefrid is well known. Those who 
desire more information on this subject may be re 
ferred to The Legenda Aurea, Bishop Fleet wood's 
Works, or Mr. Pennant's Tour in Wales, p. 28 " 

WOOD] Note-Book and Word-List 279 

WENT, "I had went " (J.T. 76^) " I went it had 
been " (W. iooc), thought, weened. 

WHIPPER, " here is a whipper " (P.P. 446), something 
out of the common : still colloquial. 

WHIT, " the devil speed whit " (J.T. 68a), the devil 
a bit. 

WHORESON, " a whoreson drivel " (P.P. I'jc, et passim), 
a generic reproach. 

WIFE (W. 1046), " as the play was written before 1533, 
the clergy were still celibates, and this is only Merry- 
report's humour " (Pollard). 

WILLESDEN (P.P. 3oc), in Middlesex, the church de 
dicated to St Mary : see Saint Saviour. 

WIST, " this would be wist " (J.T. 68c), known. 
WITHAM (W. iooa), in Essex. 

WIT, " ye shall all wit " (P.P. 5^) " I will wit " (P.P. 
53c), know, ascertain. 

WIT AND FOLLY, see Witty and Witless : Collier, in his 
Annals of the Stage, gave this name to the B.Mus. 
MS., but Hey wood's title is now restored. 

passim), wit = knowledge, wisdom, " every-dayness " : 
so the reverse in negative. 

times called Wit and Folly. Text, pp. 191217. 
Editions. (i) Original manuscript in British Museum. 
(2) Printed 1846 for the Pfrcy Soc. from the 
original MS., edited by P. W. Fairholt, F.S.A. 

Wo, " won his own wo " (W. 133^), woe, sorrow. 

WOOD, " then be they wood " (F.P. 37a), mad, furious, 
or violent. " Howe will you thinke that such furious- 
ness, with woode countenaunce and brenning eyes, 
with staringe and bragging, with heart redie to leape 
out of the belly for swelling, can be expressed y 
tenth part to the vttermost. " Ascham, Toxophilus 
( J 545)> 56 (Arber). " To wax so wild and wood." 
Churchyard, Worth, of Wales (Evans, 1776), 103. 

280 Note-Book and Word-List [YNOWE 

WOODCOCK, " a very woodcock " (J.T. 82d) " Master 
Woodcock " (L. 1480), a fool, simpleton. " O this 
woodcock ! what an ass it is ! " Shakspeare, Taming 
of Shrew (1593), i. 2. 

WOE, " I would be woe " (P.P. 346), sorry. " I am woe 
for it." Shakspeare, Tempest (1609), v. i. " I 
wolde be wo, That I presume to her is written so." 
Chaucer, Court of Love. 

WONDERS, " wonders well " (P.P. 570), wonderous. 
WOT, WOTEST (passim), know. 

WRABBED, " so wayward and wrabbed " (P.P. 576), 
? rabid, but so spelt to look more like a rhyme to 
crabbed (Nares). 

WRAWLING, " she will never leave her wrawling " (J.T. 
78c), brawling. 

WROKEN, " on the walls was wroken " (P.P. 510), pro 
perly wreaked, revenged: here = hurled, shattered. 

WYST, "this wolde be wyst " (J.T. 68c), i.e. this 
question must be answered. 

YER, " yer full intent " (W.W. 1940), your. 

YNGE, see Jayberd. 

YNOWE, " well yncwe " (J.T. 67^), enough. 

PR Heywood, John 

2561 The dramatic writings of 

F3 John Heywood 


cop. 2